Something's gnawing, rodent-like, at the foundations of Parkie and Mary's relationship. And that's it, really. One overdone 100-minute metaphor, as Parkie imagines rats behind the wall of their dilapidated Dublin flat while Mary and Parkie's brother Frank listen to the baby in her womb – the tiny miracle of whose birth, natch, banishes the imaginary intramural scufflings. Parkie amuses himself by composing an electronic music symphony (oddly rendered on tape by a predominantly non-synthesized score); he suffers from dreams/visions in which he identifies himself with a blacksmith figure from his childhood who was ultimately destroyed by rats, and in which Frank becomes a sinister Ratcatcher who looks and behaves uncannily like the demonic Bob from Twin Peaks.
Michael Skelly over-writes, Ken McClymont over-directs, and any underlying comment is at best banal and at worst pernicious (a baby as the fortuitous glue to re-bind a sundering couple? Don't try this at home). A phantom pregnancy that carries a strong whiff of "Daddy, what's that play for?"
Written for City Limits magazine.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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