Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Year of the Hiker

Thanks to my friend Carol, I saw a really good play last weekend.  It's stuck with me all week. Set in a small town in Ireland, the play takes its title from the nickname given to Lacey, the husband and father who abandoned his family to fulfill his wanderlust. His cruel departure which left his wife with two young sons and a baby daughter was such a shocking event that the villagers have been known to mark time by it-- "Ah, that horse died the year the hiker left." When the play opens, the children are grown and twenty years have passed. Lacy returns in the second scene and he's an old man with liver cancer who's come home to die and of course his reappearance opens old wounds for all of the other characters.  The wife says that, at first, after he left she missed him like the beating of her own heart.  And then that feeling was replaced by ferocious anger.  It was years, she says, before she could think of him the way she thinks of a hundred other people. There's some pretty amazing reconciliation at the end.
It's at Theatre Banshee in Burbank.

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