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Review: We’re Staying Right Here, at Park Theatre

08 March, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Danny Kirrane as Matt in We’re Staying Right Here

WHEN suicide remains the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, this play offers a welcome spotlight on mental health and some wisdom to combat stigma (“If I was in hospital with cancer, you would sit by my bedside and hold my hand”).

In the style of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, the audience are left on tenterhooks not knowing whether Matt, played by Danny Kirrane, will ever “climb up the ladder” – we are left in the dark as to where this leads.

The small Park Theatre and the set (by Elizabeth Wright) makes us feel trapped in Matt’s mind whilst he grapples with the trauma of seeking his father’s approval and being a father himself. We first meet Matt in a red cape offering stand-up style jokes (“a dyslexic man walks into a bra”) before we witness his decline. Kirrane’s juxtaposing performance makes the play worth the ticket in itself.

Liam Smith (Chris) and Danny Kirrane (Matt) in We’re Staying Right Here. Photo: David Gill

The moments of levity in this dark comedy comment on the culture of silence where men suffering with mental health problems feel they can’t speak out. Writer Henry Devas takes risks with the script, making it an uncomfortable watch at times – Matt’s flatmates, Benzies (Daniel Portman) and Tristabel (Tom Canton), taunt him about planning suicide (“a hot bath, with bubbles, essential oils, and Tchaikovsky playing in the background.”)

It is a heart-wrenching portrayal of one man’s experience with depression.

Until March 23
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