Farewell by Clare Dwyer Hogg

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The Wire on BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3, 23 March 2013
Premiered by the Field Day Theatre Company in December 2012, Farewell focused on John (Stephen Rea), an informer haunted by the guilt of his past misdemeanours and now living in virtual seclusion in an isolated property. 
Patrick, the ghost of one of his victims (Charlie Bonner) come back to taunt John with the truth about what happened; likewise Mark (Eugene O'Hare).  The "farewell" of the title could refer to both of them, as it was entirely due to John's actions that they bid life "farewell."
Such experiences force John to tell the truth about his past to his wife Ann (Brid Brennan); hitherto they have been happily married, but John has never had the courage to own up to what he has done.  He finally does so in a series of revelations, rather like layers being peeled off an onion.  However it is testament to his essentially narcissitic nature that he still expects forgiveness from his wife; he cannot understand the full emotional and physical horror of what has happened.  The play comes to a predictable conclusion, making us aware that "farewell" also applies to John and Ann.
Stephen Rea's production grabbed listeners by the throat and never let go.  The dialogues between the four characters were sparingly written and compellingly performed: even though John came across as an unsympathetic character as he tried to justify what he had done, we could not help but listen to him.  Brid Brennan's Ann was very much a victim of circumstance: the person she thought she knew as a husband turned out to be very different.