In On Raftery’s Hill, the latest installment of the monstrous hatreds of people who had ‘no summer in their lives’, people cursed in a world of distrust and lies, Marina Carr’s unique gift betrays the weaknesses of their needs and aspirations in the face of fate.
Why couldn’t ya a just lave her alone? The wan perfect thing in this house’.
Though she punctuates the play with moments of hilarious invention, the tragedy of this tale is classical in scale. As another generation struggles to escape the cycle of depravity visited on one family and the rancid atmosphere of Raftery’s Hill, Marina Carr’s unflinching vision unmasks a world ‘so horrible ud has to be true’.
On Raftery’s Hill at the Abbey Theatre review: ‘It says something that this story, one of many disturbing reports delivered in the roughened dialect of Marina Carr’s bleak play from 2000, still pales in comparison to what we will later witness in the home of the Rafterys. To an audience in 2018, when believing stories of abuse and violation has again become a political flashpoint, On Raftery’s Hill seems unsettlingly topical, like the fresh jolt of a recurring nightmare. . . . What the play aspires to, and what this unflinching production mostly achieves, is a sense of catharsis worthy of the theatre’s own complicated Greek ancestry. It drags you into the depths of dysfunction, without compromise or consolation, so that we might emerge, eventually, feeling lighter.’ — Peter Crawley, The Irish Times