Review: Medicine, at The Hope Theatre
Meghan Tyler’s play tells the story of an 18-year-old battling brutal depression amid a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship
24 August, 2018 — By Ellen O’Riordan
Meghan Tyler and Lynsey-Anne Moffat in Medicine. Photo: Alex Fine
THE sound of the ocean lapping, a teenage girl teetering on the pier’s edge, her mother looking on, popping pills.
“You look like a mad woman.”
“Maybe I am.”
Written by Meghan Tyler, Medicine tells the story of 18-year-old Moira Byrne (played by Tyler) as she battles brutal depression, a condition she inherited from “Ma” (played exceptionally by Lynsey-Anne Moffat).
But while Ma Byrne depends upon Pinot Grigio and pills, she is unable to comfort her daughter – there is no medicine to fix her.
The double-talented Tyler presents a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship that is both devastating and beautiful.
The pair argue over a cardigan –no, it was a sweater! – their conversations fiery, quick-witted and refreshingly banal; it is clear Tyler has a knack for dialogue.
But the waves of silence reveal what cannot be articulated, and we remember the play’s dark subject.
Throughout, we catch glimpses of life in Belfast, a conflicted city stuck in the past.
Ma dutifully remembers the Troubles and holds faith in the Catholic Church, while Moira, an agnostic, begs her to let go.
Tyler’s strength as a playwright lies in her ability to add nuance to every moment without ever pushing into the realm of melodrama.
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