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First show on Abbey’s main stage in 15 months: Serious moments flit by fast as a family faces life’s endgame

One Good Turn, Abbey Theatre, online until July 10

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Liz FitzGibbon and Aoibhéann McCann in Una McKevitt’s One Good Turn at the Abbey Theatre. Photo by Ros Kavanagh

Liz FitzGibbon and Aoibhéann McCann in Una McKevitt’s One Good Turn at the Abbey Theatre. Photo by Ros Kavanagh

Liz FitzGibbon and Aoibhéann McCann in Una McKevitt’s One Good Turn at the Abbey Theatre. Photo by Ros Kavanagh

This is the first show in 15 months on the Abbey’s main stage. An audience of 50, scattered throughout the auditorium, attends for this realist comedy about death and dying. Abbey debut playwright Una McKevitt has worked in the past with verbatim dialogue styles and documentary subjects and these experimental sensibilities are here translated into a traditional well-made play.

We have the central locus of Irish drama, the kitchen. Not the traditional hearth, but a modern fitted space with a coffee-and-cream tiled splashback and a touch of heritage wallpaper. Set designer Colin Richmond creates a neat, cottagey style with an Arnotts feel. Frank (Bosco Hogan) has emphysema and is heavily dependent on oxygen for daily functioning. He is also dying for a cigarette.
His wife Brenda (Catherine Byrne) is a long-suffering modern saint, keeping the family going. Their daughter Fiona (Liz FitzGibbon) has recently moved back home, having resigned her job with an insurance company.


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