Fishamble continue to churn out some of the country’s most heartfelt contemporary plays, and Spinning by Deirdre Kinahan as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival is no exception. With a strong cast of Karl Shiels, Fiona Bell, Caitriona Ennis and Janet Moran, the play revolves around the mystery of why a teenage girl has died, and what exactly happened on the night in question.
The tension and emotion in the room is palpable right from the get-go. Fiona Bell gives a heartbreakingly honest performance as the grieving mother of Annie, whose death she is still reeling over. The story revolves around Conor (Shiels) and the piecing together of what exactly happened through several disjointed scenes. Shiels, who never leaves the stage, staggers expertly through the ever-evolving story with passion and strength. Janet Moran provides some comic relief in earlier scenes before transforming into a true ice queen, and really shows us the meaning of the phrase. Caitriona Ennis brings an innocence and sweetness to the role of Annie, while never becoming passive, the fragility of youth is still very evident.
The play itself is a beautiful piece of writing, delving deeply into grief and grasping at the answers to questions one would not normally get to ask. In this way it fulfils a wish but still leaves one feeling both absolutely elated and heartbroken after exposure to such honesty.