Brilliantly and brutally, Cyprus Avenue condenses four centuries of sectarian conflict into a comfortable home in a leafy suburb of Belfast – then detonates it.
Playwright David Ireland draws us quickly into a situation of blackest absurdity: Eric Miller, a family man and hardline Ulster Protestant, is convinced that his infant granddaughter not only looks like the Irish republican politician Gerry Adams but actually is.
The baby has “Fenian eyes”, says Eric to his shocked wife Bernie and daughter Julie. Later, to prove his point, he draws a beard on the baby with a black marker.
Already, Eric’s conviction has moved beyond quirky and into the realms of the dangerous.
Kicked out of the house, Eric wanders to a park where he encounters the fast-talking, pistol-wielding Slim, a would-be gunman looking for first blood.
Eric has the perfect target for this “angel of the UVF”.
Starring Stephen Rea and directed by Vicky Featherstone, the award-winning Cyprus Avenue was originally produced at the Royal Court Theatre, London and Abbey Theatre, Dublin before touring to Belfast and the Public Theater in New York.
The film adaptation blends live capture of performance from the iconic Royal Court Theatre stage production with location shooting in Belfast.
It’s available to view online for one month, free.
Visit the Royal Court’s website for details.