Tales fron the Northside: The Reading by Helen McNamara

Contact Us

Listen to The Reading from the Near Media Co-Op

Near Media Co-Op, 3 April 2012
It's the afternoon following the reading of Niall's will, and his common-law wife Maura (Ursula Blake) has to come to terms with the fact that, after a fifteen-year relationship, the two will never be together again, and will never experience the pleasure of visiting the local cafe for a coffee and a jam doughnut. She is joined by her friend Toni (Fran Keogh), who offers mutual support at a very difficult time.
However something is gravely wrong - as yet we don't know what, but we understand that the information contained in Niall's will has proved particularly shocking for Maura. It is only when Niall's daughter Julie (Mary McNamara) comes in - ostensibly to express her sympathy for Maura's plight - that we discover what has happened.
Declan Cahill's production examined in stark detail just how brutal families can be - especially after Niall's death. Maura might have spent much of the last five years nursing him through a particularly extreme form of Alzheimer's Didease, but she is still regarded as an interloper by the rest of the family. Despite her fundamentally generous personality, she remains at a disadvantage, having not married Niall in the eyes of the law. Although willing to think the best of everyone, she is ruthlessly exploited by some of Niall's children, whose sole aim appears to be to satisfy themselves rather than thinking of the family's future.
The Reading was a stark, often brutal drama set in Dublin, and performed with passionate intensity by the three-person cast. Highly recommended.