McAdam’s Torment by Audrey Devereux at Bewley’s Café Theatre Oct 31st to Nov 12th

John McAdam (played by Paul Cunningham) recounts a series of events in his life that took place three decades earlier, from his deathbed. He and his servant Caleb were caught in a blizzard in the Scottish countryside. The mystery behind Caleb’s disappearance in the storm takes up much of the tale – and the play. We gradually learn through the course of the drama exactly what McAdam’s Torment is. It’s worth the wait.

This is a great yarn set in the seventeenth century with plenty of Gothic and horror elements – and a fiddle. The set is minimal with the two impressive actors, Cunningham and Rab Handley, employing touches of mime, music and mimicry to fill in the gaps.

Written by Audrey Devereux and directed by Graham Eatough, the production has already played in Scotland so it’s been through any teething problems – if there were any to begin with. Everything about the show is tight. It can be easy enough to lose audience interest in small, relatively low budget productions, particularly for monologues or a two hander like this. But the venue is small enough that the focus remains on the onstage action and the script is a cracker – with some great, organic reminders of what’s been happening so far without the signpost of a big “Previously, on McAdam’s Torment” type declaration.

Based on a Scottish legend, the piece is dark and bleak with an occasional dash of humour. It’s well worth a look. Check it out!

Photos Courtesy of Oran Mor Theatre.