Set in small, Irish living room - somewhere between cosy and claustrophobic -
The show’s crucial relationship between Dee (Rose Reade) and Mary (Connie Dent) is beautifully realised by the two actors, whose convincing dialogue has a combative ease
Dee has been living in London for the past two years and hasn’t been home to visit her mother, Mary, in Carrickmore in all that time - so she’s bewildered when she receives a call requesting that she pick Mary up from the police station. Later that day, back in Mary’s Carrickmore home, Dee sets about interrogating her mother about the reason for her arrest while trying to come to terms with being back in her Irish hometown. The plot is propelled forward by procession of inquisitive neighbours dropping by the house for tea and/or whisky - all gossip hungry and intrigued by Dee’s return and Mary’s arrest. Effectively watching events through Dee’s eyes we get a real sense of the smothering parochialism of the community.
Such a character driven script, of course, requires a strong cast to bring the production to life, and despite the occasional ropey accent the play’s five actors do not fall short of this challenge. The show’s crucial relationship between Dee (Rose Reade) and Mary (Connie Dent) is beautifully realised by the two actors, whose convincing dialogue has a combative ease that is well-suited to a mother-daughter relationship. Dee is sardonic, rebellious and aspiringly cosmopolitan; frustrated by her mother and the provincialism of the neighbours she takes gleeful pleasure in winding them up in an effort to distance herself from her hometown. Mary is every bit as sarcastic and judgemental as Dee, and seems to delight in extracting guilt from her much-missed absentee daughter. Over the course of the play we see this discordant relationship develop as the pair rediscover how to live with each other and their affection becomes heartwarmingly visible.
The compelling depth of these characters makes the play easy to relate to, with themes and family dynamics that may well strike a chord with the audience. At times the script isn’t particularly subtle in conveying these themes, but its lighthearted comedy enables it to get away with this.
Cleverly written, well-performed and very funny, Three Days’ Time has a wittily comic style that provides the vehicle for exploring family relationships that can seem simultaneously strange and familiar.