This teaser clip from Belfast's newest theatre company will pique your curiosity
'What's in the box?' asks Andrew Doyle's dark comedy Borderland, about two brothers faced with one final delivery before packing in their paramilitary deeds
When Borderland by Northern Irish writer Andrew Doyle first came to the stage, produced by now-defunct Scottish theatre group 7:84, it drew lofty reviews from publications that managed to catch its sole run of shows.
The Times praised the play as being 'Intelligent, witty and often thought-provoking' while The Guardian said that it was 'Full of black humour and sharp dialogue'. Further recognition of Doyle as a talent on the rise came from The List, which felt Borderland was 'An assured debut from a playwright with great promise.'
There were even more glowing write-ups in the Scottish press at the time, but unfortunately audiences on home soil never had the chance to see this 'thoughtful and engaging two-hander' that 'attempts and achieves far more than most plays do'.
Doyle has enjoyed a busy career in the years since, from plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and co-writing a number of musicals including the Lyric Theatre's adaptation of Gulliver's Travels with Duke Special, to the hit parody show Graeme of Thrones which ran at London's West End before coming to the Ulster Hall in 2016. He has also had six solo shows as a stand-up comedian, recently performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, co-created the spoof news reporter Jonathan Pie, who went viral in 2016 following Trump's triumph in the presidential election.
Now Doyle is teaming with the newly-formed Soda Bread Theatre Company to revive Borderland for its long-awaited Irish premiere, and with the country's political landscape even more uncertain now the play remains as relevant and funny as ever.
The plot follows bickering brothers Sean, played by Gerard McCabe (Smiley/Complete Works of Shakespeare/Cinderella) and Michael Condron as Ciaran (39 Steps/Game of Thrones/The Boat Factory), two delivery men whose line of work hangs in the balance as the peace process continues to pressurise their paramilitary clients.
In a supposedly peaceful Northern Ireland they are standing at a crossroads, with one last delivery to make and a future to find.
Watch the below teaser as the pair prepare to drop off what could be their parting package – only something seems to be different this time around...
Borderland comes to the Belfast Waterfront for two nights, on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 January. Tickets are available by calling 028 9033 4455, online at www.waterfront.co.uk and at the Waterfront's main Box Office at the Ulster Hall.