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Opening Night

By Joe Mcdonagh


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After a lengthy absence from the stage, Scots actress Susan Henderson is making her come-back in the title role of a touring production of Hedda Gabler. The play has been favourably received in provincial theatres but the crucial test will come when it opens in Glasgow. The players are having a rehearsal before the Glasgow opening when Susan is confronted by Tom Martin, the cynical, disillusioned drama critic with whom she had had a love affair five years earlier and a man upon whose verdict much of the play's future will depend. One is not certain until the final moments just how the critic's professional integrity will fare against his own resentment at failure to renew the affair. In his first stage play, Joe McDonagh examines the two professions he knows best - journalism and the theatre. His five characters offer wide scope for individual interpretation in a contemporary drama that is taut in both plot and characterisation. The play is set during a rehearsal of Hedda Gabler so period set and costumes are not required.