Beaten (published as TILT) (2007)
Three siblings, a girl and two boys, endlessly reiterate the terrible details of their childhood. They are trapped for ever in an obsessive need to remember and relive their treatment at the hands of a sadistic father who brutalised not only the three children but also his ever-uncomplaining wife – who herself eventually succumbed to the drink.
Ailís Ní Ríain’s first play, BEATEN (2007) has received five professional productions. Sweden (in repertory at Stadsteater, Gothenberg), Ireland (Granary, Cork), England (Unity, Liverpool), Germany (in repertory at Deutsches Theatre, Berlin) and Scotland (Citizen’s, Glasgow).
Like the plays of “Beckett”, to which “Tilt” pays homage, the atmosphere is oppressive but the author’s love of the sound of words is somehow uplifting. Incantatory and hypnotic, this marks the debut of a very promising writing talent. TILT is published by Nick Hern Books and the German translation Rowohlt.
“A perfectly-pitched piece of theatre that features heart-stopping performances… it promises a fine future for a writer who has only recently turned to theatre, after an early career as a composer and poet that has clearly influenced every breath and intonation of this intense and musical piece of drama.” – The Scotsman
“What emerges is a sense of the sweetness of a shared victimhood, created with such delicate intensity that it feels as if the audience itself is holding its breath.” – The Irish Times
‘A bleak journey through a nightmare. The play is special. It requires attention.’ – Marita Adamsson – bohuslaningen.se (Swedish National Paper)
‘The voices are orchestrated, the exchanges brittle…what emerges is a sense of the sweetness of a shared victimhood, created with such delicate intensity that it feels as if the audience itself is holding its breath.‘ – Mary Leland, The Irish Times
‘Ni Riain has constructed a thing of sad, haunted beauty and inherent musicality. Each rapid-fire phrase pummels the air in a series of blistering crescendos, passed around the family like a choral litany.’ The Glasgow Herald
‘A perfectly-pitched piece of theatre that promises a fine future for a writer who has only recently turned to theatre, after an early career as a composer that has clearly influenced every breath and intonation of this intense and musical piece of drama.’ Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman
‘A startlingly confident new Irish play… Ni Riain has hit the ground running’ – Evening Echo, Cork
‘Feelings vibrate in Beaten. It is a pleasure to see this sharp trio in action…a chamber drama like a string trio. A kind of internal-sounding dimension that transformed the ensemble with great feeling and finesse’ – Sven Rånlund – www.gp.se (Swedish National Paper)
‘The experience of Beaten is that her musical personality is so strong that her work will penetrate the text and create a compound theatrical language rather than merely complementing it.’ – Johnny Hanrahan, Irish Theatre Forum.