May 11, 2013

This glowing, evocative production is the third play in the Mint Theatre’s survey of the work of the nearly forgotten Irish playwright Teresa Deevy. It’s a weird and wonderful play from 1936, whose central character, vivaciously brought to complex life by Wrenn Schmidt, is an exuberant serving girl of dubious parentage in a cottage household in Lower Ballycar. Katie has ambitions of sainthood or riches, whichever comes first; then Stanislaus Gregg (Patrick Fitzgerald), the head of the house, asks for her hand. Fitzgerald gives a memorably controlled and borderline creepy performance. The director, Jonathan Bank, with the help of a rich, red-wallpapered set, by Vicki R. Davis, and superb, subtle lighting, by Nicole Pearce, creates a world in which longing seems tangible. Deevy’s dialogue is practically minimalist, but in very few words an entire culture is revealed, and the mysteries of the human heart explored.