Review: In ‘The Mountains Look Different,’ Sin, Shame and Self-Determination

It just isn’t, fact be advised, a visually splendid manufacturing; the set (by Vicki R. Davis) has an affordable look, which appears to not bode properly. And, full disclosure, there may be some dancing of a jig — a part of the celebration of a midsummer competition, which is underway when Bairbre (Brenda Meaney) and Tom (Jesse Pennington) arrive on the thatched-roof farmhouse of his father, Martin (Con Horgan), the place they plan to quiet down.

What’s alluring right here is the storytelling, by each Mac Liammóir and the actors, whose across-the-board restraint roots the characters in actuality all through. And if you already know one thing about Mac Liammóir (1899-1978), Bairbre’s dedication to remake herself takes on additional resonance. Mac Liammóir, one of many founders of the Gate Theater in Dublin, was truly an Englishman named Alfred Willmore. An actor in addition to a playwright, he reinvented himself so convincingly as an Irishman that his masquerade was solely revealed, by biographers, a dozen years after his demise.

Shame — Bairbre’s, for the life she led, and Martin’s, for the evening he spent along with her — is the pressure that drives this play, set in an remoted panorama the place Roman Catholicism twines with pagan superstitions, and the supernatural is rarely far-off.

In this a part of the world, redemption is an unlikely consequence for a girl who deserted sexual innocence with out the blessing of the church. But Mac Liammóir has a placing sympathy for Bairbre, who offered her physique as a solution to survive.

“’Tis ones like yourself is the shame of the world,” her taciturn, menacing father-in-law says.

“A woman can’t sell nothing without there’s a call for it, don’t you believe it,” she replies.

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