Dyl, Old Red Lion Theatre, review: ‘All performances are outstanding and the direction inspired’

PUBLISHED: 10:24 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:36 17 May 2017

Laurie Jamieson in Dyl at Old Red Lion. Picture: Jack Sain

Laurie Jamieson in Dyl at Old Red Lion. Picture: Jack Sain


Despite it happening in one of London’s smallest venues, the premiere of Mark Weinman’s Dyl will be on my list of Big Theatre Moments of 2017

Despite it happening in one of London’s smallest venues, the premiere of Mark Weinman’s Dyl will be on my list of Big Theatre Moments of 2017.

Weinman’s (unbelievably, first) play is an astonishing work of honesty and insight with fantastic writing and delivered by an almost perfect cast.

James has moved into Ryan’s house in Aberdeen. He has got a well paid but brutally hard job on an oil rig. Ryan is a down-to-earth salesman with a wonderful turn of phrase and unusual, but hard line, insight into what is bothering his new tenant.

As they row about bathroom cleanliness the audience gets the first hints of the quality and well judged dialogue that sets this play apart. Over its two hours it is perfectly paced and not a word is surplus.

Dyl is a redemption play. James has exiled himself from a dark incident at home but is awash with remorse and self loathing. Worse, he is destroying the relationships he could have with the ones that love him – Steph (ex-partner and mother of his daughter, Dyl) his mother and Ryan. He is forced to examine responsibility, guilt, absence and loss and to acknowledge his own depression.

This may seem like a pretty grim prospect for a night out, but the dialogue is littered with laugh-out-loud lines that keep the action moving and prevents a dip into collective melancholy.

The scene in which James and Ryan discuss being present at a birth effortlessly combines extraordinary sensitivity and high class humour.

All performances are outstanding and the direction inspired.

This is a real gem of engrossing, enlightening and entertaining theatre.

Go see.

Rating: 4/5 stars


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