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Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Collector by John Fowles. Adapted by Mark Healy.

The Collector - A story of possession, obsession and love

Ground Floor Theatre Co. in association with Central Arts have brought you a piece of theatre that captures your subconscious and possesses you. The Collector tells the story of Frederick Clegg (Andrew Holden), a socially awkward young man who collects butterflies. Infatuated with the beautiful and (to him) unapproachable art student Miranda Grey (Paula Weldon), he resorts to 'collecting' her, imprisoning her in a specially-designed, underground cellar in the hope that in time, his affection will be reciprocated.

The entire play is inter-spliced with a narration from Frederick that enables to audience to get a direct and unsavory window into his psyche. Healy manages to find a brooding pace and structure which really teases out the terror.

Like-wise, every so often we get monologues/conversations with herself from Miranda that also gives us a deeper insight into her part in the psychological warfare that plays out between the two.

It’s this very human and personal approach that makes The Collector so engaging as there’s plenty of time and room to get acquainted with Frederick's mind and the dread of Miranda’s situation, as Healy’s characters are real, and most disturbingly, plausible.

Healy also manages to weave plenty succinct and provocative social commentary in, especially exploring class and privilege. These rock your countenance a little as it tends to catch you almost sympathising or judging characters in ways you wouldn’t expect. However, Healy never dwells on these deep and probing points too long, ensuring that Miranda’s captivity and her attempts to flee it remain the central focus and drive of The Collector.

'Both performers brought suspicion, tension, guile, fascination, seduction of sorts, and an intensity that disturbed as much as it fascinated'.

'Audiences leaned in and looked away at the same time'

Liam Murphy, The Munster Express

'Andrew Holden, is spell-binding as an eat-your-pillow nutter Fred… he portrays an astonishing range of emotions'.

'Paula Weldon is superb as the victim-with-attitude… her emotional range is an acting delight… bully and victim, snob and supplicant, woman and child'.

Pat McEvoy, Waterford News & Star 

The Collector take place in the Jerome Hynes Theatre, National Opera House, 21- 22 April, 2017.

Tickets €15. Book online here.