The Salvage Shop, set in the seaside town of Garris, hinges on the fraught relationship between Sylvie Tansey, maestro of the local brass band reluctant to relinquish his position, and his forebearing son, Eddie.
The consoling force of opera and the music of the band provides a soundtrack for the ambitions, great and small, of the several characters in Jim Nolan’s touching play, and for their inabilities and efforts to connect as they negotiate ways to salve the wounds of a family and the sores of a community.
‘[The Salvage Shop] is a richly-layered drama to be savoured quietly, its content to be stored in the memory and revisited time and again to retrieve its subtle wisdom . . . it is, of course, about redemption. But this is not redemption on the grand scale. Rather, it is to be found in the small acceptance of imperfection and a huge act of self-forgiveness . . . We meet Eddie Tansey and his father Syvlie in the salvage shop where they work and live. Sylvie is foul-mouthed, Eddie mild in the face of provocation. Their business is the rehabilitation of seemingly waste material into objects for which the timber or the glass or the bric-a-brac might never have been intended. But their passions appear to lie elsewhere, in the local seaside small-town Garris Brass Band, over which Sylvie ruled for nearly 40 years and which Eddie apparently deserted many years before, when, maybe, his wife Kathleen left him or he left her.’ — David Nowlam, The Irish Times