The Dry House
31st March – 6th May 2023
“The Dry House follows sisters Chrissy and Claire as they attempt to overcome the devastating impact of alcoholism on their family. In County Down, Ireland, Chrissy promises Claire that after one final drink she will go to the Dry House to get sober, but Claire doubts she means it this time. Family and booze combine in this powerful and timely exploration of grief, family, addiction – and the immense and redemptive power of hope.”
Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars
In a world where broad-sheets under-value musical theatre and has-been playwrights get copy space to lament they’re no longer the big thing in the West End, the Marylebone Theatre is quietly getting on with things and yet again pulling the rabbit out of the hat.
Following a major refit to their Steiner Centre concert hall to launch with the juggernaut that was DMITRY, following up with sell-out show A DICKEN’S CAROL, then the multi-award winning roller-coaster revelation that was GRENFELL, now comes this new production, a premiere play, THE DRY HOUSE.
The power-house team behind the Marylebone Theatre, Executive director Adrian Locher and Artistic Director Alexander J Gifford, have planted their flag on the London theatre landscape in an easy to get to theatre just 2 minutes walk from Baker Street and less than 8 minutes tube from the West End. And unlike most West End shows, for an affordable ticket price, you can see quality theatre and once again fall in love with the emotional transport of theatre.
So why is THE DRY HOUSE easily rated 5 Stars? Well, let’s name every single department and assess. Everything is top notch! Set, Staging, Dramaturg, directing, Stage Management, Operating, Script, Cast, “the book” – and when it all comes together so well, you get an audience reaction like no other! The set is to die for, everywhere you look is detail that reflects the character’s emotional state, with a brilliant combination of high quality build mixed in with personal neglect. The lighting was so subtle and persuavise, a real tribute to draw the audience into the stage, with an assymetrical lighting rig that demonstrates a considered design to match the set and the play rather than a text book plan. The sound was brilliantly subtle to underscore the drama. All design teams just beautifully crafted!
Sat in the audience, the couple to my right laughed at the characterisations while clearly a little upset at the despair of the situation. The couple to my left held each other’s thighs in mutual support. There is suprisingly a lot of laughter and comedic one-liners despite the gravity of the drama. The finale bows got a standing ovation. And rightly so! I can’t believe that anyone in the audience wouldn’t traverse the journey of these two sisters struggling with their demons, their loss and their lives, while turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism. It’s powerful stuff!
The cast don’t usually get much of a mention on this website, but in this case, they were so believable and so script perfect, they have to get a shout-out!
This is a must-see affordable piece of drama in the “new kid on the block” venue!
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan
The Dry House
Dates Friday 31st March – Saturday 6th May 2023
Location Marylebone Theatre, 35 Park Road, London, NW1 6XT
How to get there The nearest stations are Baker Street, on the Bakerloo, Jubilee, Circle,
Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, and Marylebone station.
Tickets Tickets are available from www.marylebonetheatre.com
Writer and Director Eugene O’Hare
Scenographer Niall McKeever
Lighting Design Robbie Butler (2022 Offies winner)
Sound Design Esther Kehinde Ajayi
Casting Ginny Schiller
Publishers Methuen Drama
Chrissy: Mairead McKinley
Claire: Kathy Kiera Clarke
Heather: Carla Langley