The Dry House Reviews

Reviews are coming in for the world premiere production of Eugene O’Hare’s The Dry House at Marylebone Theatre in London.

The Dry House stars Kathy Kiera Clarke – Aunt Sarah in hit TV series Derry Girls – as Claire, Mairead McKinley (Edge of Tomorrow, Molly’s Way) as Claire’s sister Chrissy, and Carla Langley (The Ferryman, Carnival Row) as Chrissy’s daughter Heather.

Set in Ireland, and written and directed by Eugene O’Hare, The Dry House is billed as a darkly comic redemptive play about love, loss and the possibility of hope after years of self-destruction.

Other members of the creative team for the production include Lighting Design by Robbie Butler, Sound Design by Esther Kehinde Ajayi, Scenography by Niall McKeever, and Casting by Ginny Schiller.

The play runs until 6 May 2023 at the Marylebone Theatre.

Reviews include The Times, The Guardian, with more reviews to follow.

Book tickets to The Dry House at the Marylebone Theatre in London

The Dry House reviews

The Guardian

"A mother hits rock bottom in gloriously cast alcoholism drama"

"The capacity to arrest our own destruction is central in Eugene O’Hare’s stark look at a woman struggling to cope after the death of her teenage daughter"

"With a name like Eugene O’Hare, the writer and director of The Dry House was perhaps destined to write his own Long Day’s Journey Into Night, even if that play’s shattering bleakness is replaced by a healing, holistic tenor. Those inspirational qualities, which might make The Dry House valuable for people coping with addiction, are what render it a shade less satisfying as drama."

"McKinley never loses touch with Chrissy’s former vitality, Clarke swaps the ditziness of Aunt Sarah in Derry Girls for a flinty determination and Langley does her valiant best with a distinctly uncertain monologue from beyond the grave."

Ryan Gilbey, The Guardian
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The Times

"A potent tale of the demon drink with one twist too many"

"Irish writer Eugene O’Hare’s intriguing study of the demon drink"

"this intense, beautifully acted chamber piece holds us rapt, at least until the awkward moment towards the close when O’Hare — who also directs — adds one twist too many. It’s a measure of the quality of the performances that you’re actually willing to pay it no heed."

"Mairead McKinley captures the anguish of a woman who knows she is losing control of her life. As Claire, Kathy Kiera Clarke (Aunt Sarah in TV’s Derry Girls) is equally impressive; there is pain behind that respectable façade. Carla Langley, playing Heather, gives us a confident yet vulnerable girl who is cheated of her youth."

"A near miss, in short, but one you won’t forget for quite a while."

Clive Davis, The Times
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The Arts Desk

"Fine performances in Irish three-hander"

"Eugene O'Hare treads familiar ground with his confessional about alcoholism"

"Eugene O’Hare’s The Dry House is the kind of spare but oddly lyrical three-hander that would have made a good Wednesday Play back in the day. For Conor McPherson fans, it will seem like familiar terrain, with all the ingredients for an unusual domestic drama."

"O'Hare also directs and has drawn fine performances from his cast, McKinley in particular, who seems to be cornering the market in unhappy middle-aged mothers after her recent role in Akedah at the Hampstead. She gives Chrissy a spark, and a welcome line in dry humour, that seemingly contented Claire cannot muster."

Helen Hawkins, The Arts Desk
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"Eugene O’Hare’s alcoholism drama is just numbingly miserable"

"Opening just a couple of nights after ‘A Little Life’, the West End’s unspeakably grim, female-authored misery fest about a group of men whose lives have hit rock bottom, here, for balance, is ‘The Dry House’: the off-West End’s male-authored misery fest about a group of women whose lives have hit rock bottom."

"Alcoholism is, of course, a legitimate subject. One assumes it’s near to O’Hare’s heart. But there have been a lot of great plays about it, and while rarely happy, none of them are as grindingly dour as this."

"In simply presenting us with 90 minutes of largely unleavened anguish ‘The Dry House’ feels flat... It’s well-acted, but there’s just an inherent lack of range in the material."

Andrzej Lukowski, TimeOut
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The Stage


"Powerfully performed but clumsily told story of a family caught in a downward spiral of grief and addiction"

"By turns wretchedly bleak and cloyingly sentimental, this unfocused melodrama, written and directed by Eugene O’Hare, seethes with grim secrets, hidden shames and a few tiny glimmers of hope."

"Though it’s loaded with compelling themes, O’Hare’s hectic production never settles on a tone, lurching between gritty emotional realism, lyrical reveries and misplaced platitudes."

"The impressively committed cast works hard to elevate the uneven material."

Dave Fargnoli, The Stage
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📷 Main photo: Kathy Kiera Clarke & Mairead McKinley in The Dry House. Photo Manuel Harlan

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