Be My Love in the Rain

Fire and Ice Theatre Company presents 'Be My Love in the Rain' by Paul Kennedy.

Fire and Ice Theatre Company presents 'Be My Love in the Rain' by Paul Kennedy.

Be My Love in the Rain is a monologue very impressively presented by Linda Teehan, all the more so because she does so unaided by props, scenery, sound effects or the usual conventional stage settings. She’s not entirely on her own, of course. Writer of the play Paul Kennedy also directs and under his guidance Teehan keeps a good reign on her pacing. She also never over-acts. Her tone is perfect throughout as she brings us through a romantic yet dark time in the life of a young Dublin working class woman. 

The performance takes place in the Powerscourt Gallery, which has excellent acoustics as it happens but is more usually something akin to the lap of the bourgeoisie rather than a zone where you hear Dublin working class accents. As Fire and Ice Theatre Company’s mission statement declares that they want to stage plays that “have a social relevance in our complex and changing society” it’s something of a coup to perform Be My Love in the Rain in a place that by and large gives the illusion of being immune to either social relevance or change.

Teehan’s character hints early on that the story she’s about to tell reveals a darker side to her than anyone could have expected. Be My Love in the Rain describes, through Teehan’s vivid re-enactments, how a girl who normally just likes to have fun falls for a good-looking but ultimately psychologically disturbed individual. Kennedy’s writing, carried along by Teehan’s authenticity, gives us a familiar breakdown of a young working class woman’s desire and ambitions when it comes to the male sex. We admire the honesty of the confessions and their predictably crude but funny attachments, even if there’s a feeling that all of this just looks a little too familiar. Even Teehan’s gestures and body language seem from the handbook of “this is how Dublin working class girls behave and gesticulate.”

Working withing the material she has, Linda Teehan carries it off with vigour and manages to make us see and feel all the other characters who surround her, from the grumpy dad to her wild and sceptical friends. Kennedy’s writing is very natural, too. Combined with Teehan’s performance there’s a flow and empathy between actor and script. The problem, as already stated, is that we’ve seen these types of characters so often before - the hopeful and good but doomed Dublin working-class girl who falls for a guy who’s going nowhere fast, even if, in this case, his downfall is hastened by psychiatric problems. There is tragedy and devastation at the end, which Teehan delivers in an understated but powerful way. However, just once I’d love to see a play that doesn't deal in stereotypes of the Dublin working classes.

Patrick Brennan was chief theatre critic and arts writer with the Irish Examiner from 1990-2004. He is a journalist and critic and is currently writing a book on the theatre of Tom Murphy.

  • Review
  • Theatre

Be My Love in the Rain by Paul Kennedy

29 June to 3 July, 2010

Produced by Fire and Ice Theatre Company
In Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin 2

Directed by Paul Kennedy

Lighting Designer: Caroline Norris

Producer: Lisa McNamee

With: Linda Teehan