Intemperance at the New Vic will pull on the heart strings, and it will make you laugh in what is a serious, thought-provoking production directed by Zoe Waterman.

Set in 1854 Liverpool, social inequality is as rife as the alcohol intake of a family who moved to make a better life for themselves. Unfortunately for the feisty Millie Sildnes, children Niamh and Ruairi McLoughlin, and husband Brynjar Sildnes the escapism of poverty is not to be, and instead a life of sickness and lies follows.

Millie’s father, Fergal Monahan is awaiting to die but tries his best to entertain his family with stories from the good old days as his pregnant daughter battles against her own demons.

John O’Mahony (Fergal) and Thomas Grant (Ruairi)
Image by Mark Douet

Krissi Bohn is more than convincing as Millie argues her family’s status in a time when class always prevailed. As the story unfolds Millie also has crossed words with her children following a stark revelation from Niamh which evokes chaotic scenes.

The drama continues to escalate when young Ruairi takes it upon himself to take matters into his own hands and end the life of a family member in a dramatic scene.

Cholera is wiping out the vulnerable within the community and Millie is petrified for her unborn baby throughout. But no matter what is thrown at this family in turmoil, they come back again and again, stronger and stronger.

Intemperance without a doubt is a serious drama, but humour does shine through at the right moments in this revival of Lizzie Nunnery’s award-winning play. Maybe a little slow at first, but nothing can be taken away from the production which is superbly directed with a faultless cast.

Intemperance is at the New Vic until Saturday 20 April. Go to Baba’s What’s ON for more details here.


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