CONOR McPherson’s award-winning play is short on incident but full of well-crafted, naturalistic and strong dialogue. Set in a small remote bar in Ireland on a wild night, it celebrates Irish storytelling and depicts rural life with humour and emotion.

Finbar, a onetime local man, has just sold a nearby property to Valerie, a young woman from Dublin. He introduces her to three of the bar’s unmarried habitués - pugnacious Jack claiming to enjoy his independence whilst urging young Brendan, the bar’s owner, to get married.

The third is Jim trapped at home looking after his sick, elderly mother. Valerie’s arrival sparks off undercurrents of sexual rivalry between the men.

The play is slow to get going as it sets the scene and establishing the characters. Eventually the joshing gives way to tales of ghostly incidents told by the older men. 

Each story is a spellbinding chilling monologue that is enhanced through subtle lighting and by the other actors remaining absolutely still throughout.

Sean Murray fully delivers the mercurial temperament and coarseness of Jack and is most moving in revealing the softer side of this character’s nature as he tells of an early lost romance.

Sam O’Mahony’s Brendan is delightful with his shy, gaucheness towards Valerie whilst John O’Dowd made Jim a simple lost soul that one fears for when his mother dies.

As Finbar Louis Dempsey has all the swagger of the nouveau rich yet gives out a sense of unease at being back with the others. Dempsey has him as a lecher lacking the nerve to act.

Natalie Radmall-Quirke transforms Valerie from looker-on to main player especially in her painful telling of the eerie story. It provides a cathartic release for her.