The Kay Farrell Trilogy: Twin Candles by Henry Hudson

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The Kay Farrell Trilogy on Near FM

Near FM Ireland, 24 October 2012
A two-hander involving Mary (Mary McNamara), a woman about to meet her maker looking back on her life; and her friend Sarah (Lisa Deegan) trying to console her.  In her early seventies, Mary looks back on a life of disappointment; she never did much, and failed to find a suitable partner.  The one man she did love happened to be a Protestant; when she informed her (Catholic) family about her love-affair, they summoned the local priest to force her into a confession.  Doomed never to follow her instincts, Mary was consoled by the fact that her would-be partner had promised to wait for her - until death, if necessary.
Mary had been brought up to believe in the power of the Catholic faith; she continued to believe in this, until she discovered that those members of the Church who were supposed to live blameless lives actually proved to be as fallible as anyone else.  Disillusioned with herself, her faith, and the world, Mary tells Sarah of her wish to be cremated without actually having Holy Water spread on her.
Declan Cahill's production is a vivid study of how religion constricts people's lives - to such an extent that they are forced to sacrifice their personal feelings.  It's not so much the Catholic faith that's the problem; but rather the pressure of one's immediate community - family, friends, and the priests who serve them.  This is what destroys Mary's life.  However Twin Candles has one more surprise up its sleeve: it's not only Mary who suffers; Sarah has had similar experiences, but responds to them very differently.  At the end we are faced with a choice; either to reject religion (as Mary proposes) or rather embrace it (like Sarah).
Twin Candles is a powerful piece that not only questions one's allegiance to the Catholic faith but applies equally to any other religion.