A WHISTLE IN THE DARK by Tom Murphy, Abbey Theatre, 1986
For 34 years this beautifully atmospheric picture has been hanging on our wall. I must pass it a hundred times a day. It’s become part of the fabric of our home. It was my first Tom Murphy play, my first time to be directed by Garry Hynes and I was the only female in a cast of eight – a daunting task, but exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. It’s an angry savagely violent piece. The theatre critic Micheal Billington said in his review “I walked out on to Abbey Street wiping blood from my face and picking glass out of my hair”. He was speaking metaphorically of course, but it described perfectly the chilling atmosphere that permeated the play. It was the hit of the festival that year, and although the Carney Boys were extremely abusive to my character Betty on stage, we had a lot of laughs and far to many drinks in the Festival Club, if my memory serves me.
CATHERINE BYRNE 18/05/2020