“Human beings think happiness is their default. It’s not.” In Tiger’s Eye Theatre’s superior tragicomedy-of-manners, we take up residence in a cliff-top cottage on the coast of Ireland, waiting for a stranger to arrive. The storm that rages outside is nothing compared to the one that will eventually play out amongst those within.
Dan (Johanna O’Brien) and Bernie (James Whelan) have been searching for the right kind of person. After previous disappointments, they seem to have struck gold with Erica (played with a brilliant, disconnected intensity by Eleanor O’Brien). However, as they rush towards sealing the deal on the ultimate act of altruism, can they be certain that everyone is firmly on the same page?
Crafted in the rich tradition of Tales of the Unexpected, writer Niall Carmody skilfully plays with the nuance of social interaction, slowly teasing out the thread of his darkly comic story. As the plot lurches from initial farce to its unsettling finale – via director Shane Hickey-O’Mara’s sickle-sharp pacing – we ponder the question of what makes us happy, and whether life can ever be used as human currency.
Always intriguing, and capable of imperceptibly shifting gear, It’s Always The Quiet Ones will keep you off balance for the entirety of its swift 45 minute duration, thanks to whip-smart performances delivered with a healthy slug of caustic Irish humour. This is intelligent new writing that can push us to look at the fringes of our common morality whilst keeping a devilish glint in its eye. Go see.