A lot happens in the Connor home, wondrously designed by Ben Stones, including therapeutic puppetry and Saturday cultural outings. Mac uses bold, rich and poetic language, but it’s occasionally incongruous in the characters who use it and, at times, the script verges on instructional. There are some brilliantly hilarious observations, usually uttered by McGuire with expert timing, but the pace wanes as chaos descends on the home.
Darvill is suitably distraught throughout, and is at his best when trying to reconnect with Gilligan’s Max. They offer some genuine moments of siblinghood, both vying for each other’s admiration and acceptance. McGuire, however, is the shining star, playing a mother who tries desperately and earnestly to shed a past world of cruelty to the point of delusion. Williams, as the father, is haunting, docile most of the time but occasionally hinting at the man he once was. His treatment by the others, particularly McGuire, offers up the most complex question in Mac’s play: whether being cared for is a right or a privilege, something innate or is learnt over the course of our lives.
Hir looks at the American dream of owning a house and dispels it as a symptom of patriarchal oppression. But the solution is less clear. While Hir is thoughtful, provocative and at times stirring, it might be that, like the Connor family, parts of it get a bit lost in the mess.
|What||Hir, Bush Theatre review|
|Where||Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Shepherd's Bush Market (underground)|
15 Jun 17 – 22 Jul 17, Matinee, captioned and audio described performances available
|Price||£15 - £20|
|Website||Click here to book now|