Get a personalised letter from Santa

Theatre review: Keepsake at the Old Red Lion Theatre Pub

PUBLISHED: 15:06 15 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:08 15 January 2014

Lou Broadbent as Samara and Dilek Rose as Abra in Keepsake at the Old Red Lion

Lou Broadbent as Samara and Dilek Rose as Abra in Keepsake at the Old Red Lion


The kitchen, the heart of the home so still and lived in, is the perfect setting for this multilayered, multi-themed melodrama.

Written by American playwright Gregory Beam, and directed by Sean Martin, Keepsake is the first outing for the script and for the theatre company, Free Trade Productions, and neither disappoint.

Set in a small American town, two sisters are reunited at the family home in Massachusetts following the suicide of their father. Time has turned them into strangers but they are bound by a familiarity at once easy and comic but with a hint of old tensions rising up to be acknowledged.

Lou Broadbent, as the free spirited Samara carries the first half, along with her sister Abra, played by Dilek Rose who slowly and painfully opens up, so that nothing is what it at first seems. Doubling her role as the mother, Rose enhances the cultural differences that course through the veins of the story.

Messages left on the answer machine and the lights dimming to capture flashbacks into the family history and the father’s descent into mental illness explain the present moment in ways unimaginable by the end of the first half.

By the second half, the action accelerates, possibly a little too fast as the themes of mental health, alcoholism, religion, sexual violence, family duty, and the total dysfunction of modern society comes to the fore in a thrilling climax.

Keepsake is full of cultural and political references, of family issues that are common to us all. With strong performances from a small cast, it is a positive first outing for this new theatre company.

Until January 25th


Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

Tips on where to stay and what to eat in Dublin courtesy of our travel writer, Sophie Ritchie.


As Americans everywhere prepare for a turkey feast with extra helpings of pumpkin pie, we’ve been out finding five of the best places for Thanksgiving this side of the Atlantic.


When Alice Frick began telling jokes in comedy clubs across Austria and Germany, organisers paid little attention to her material. Instead, they suggested wearing a dress, high heels and “doing a little twirl after you’ve finished your set.”

Mon, 12:26

A new event set-up to showcase independent designers working in fashion, interiors and print is coming to Stokey this weekend.


Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now