Fresh from Dancing at Lughnasa at the National and so brilliant in the BBC’s Best Interests, Alison Oliver plays the eponymous heroine in Marina Carr’s Irish take on fate, the mythic and watery deaths in a revival by Carrie Cracknell. It may be over two decades since Carr’s taboo-breaking play first premiered, attracting controversy for its beady-eyed treatment of incest, motherhood, and Irish family life. In that time, it has lost none of its power to shock, and Cracknell is the woman to ensure that it still grips us with its intensity and inevitable sense of tragedy from which we—and Portia—cannot escape.
There's a wolf tooth growin in me heart and it's turnin me from everywan and everthin I am. A young woman unravelling. A twin reappearing. A family torn asunder by the living and the dead. Today is Portia’s birthday. But it’s not a day for family and celebrations. Because Portia is making terrible choices, lurching between past and present, and wondering if the hand of fate has already set her course. Tormented by her dead twin Gabriel, who disappeared into the depths of the Belmont River 15 years ago, she wreaks havoc on all she loves in a desperate bid to save herself.