By Deirdre Kinahansteep theatre

Directed by Jonathan Berry

At Steep Theatre, Chicago

Powerful kitchen-sink family drama demonstrates how a past event can destroy a family

Set in the Celtic Tiger boom in Ireland, Deirdre Kinahan’s Moment is a tightly drawn kitchen-sink family drama that finds a family reunion of sorts turning into dramatic confrontation where old wounds are rubbed. Setting down to tea, the Lynch’s welcome their estranged son, Nail (Josh Odor) to the family’s Dublin home. The sickly and forgetful mother Teresa (Maggie Cain) welcomes her son as a prodigal sibling.  We see how sisters Niamh (Cynthia Marker) and Clara (Julia Siple) worry and dote over their sickly mother. The sisters are typical Irish daughters dedicated to watch over their parents while the son (in an Irish family) is considered special. Clara is married to Dave while Niamh is single but she is being courted by the dotting Fin (Alex Gillmor). Director Jonathan Berry slowly builds the dramatic tension as it becomes obvious that their is an unspoken problem that threatens to erupt during the family get together. Naimh becomes more distressed when she learns that Nail is visiting with his new girlfriend.

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Teresa forgets to announce that Nail is now married to Ruth (Carey Lee Burton) so that may be the source of the tension or is there more? Once we learn that Nail was in prison for 14 years for committing a dark crime, we learn why Nianh is so upset.  I’ll not reveal more so not to spoil the show for you. But let me say that Moments is steeped in realism, witty language with a hint of Irish brogues yet a clearly spoken work that depicts a contemporary Irish family in crisis. We see hurt suffered by the sisters as their mother favors Nail despite his horrible crime. We also feel Naimh’s anger toward her brother since his crime involved her best friend Hillary (Grace Melon).

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When each member of the family (and those related) face the truth of  the family tragedy, explanations and reasons prevail as each comes to grips with the events of Nail’s crime. Plarkwright Deirdre Kinahan’s story vividly has much to say about the dynamics of an Irish family where forgiveness may be  forgetfulness as loyalties are tested fully. This is a fast-paced drama with excellent acting anchored by the strong performances byMaggie Cain and Cynthia Marker with fine work by Josh Odor and Julia Siple. Once more, Steep Theatre offers a terrific evening of theatre. They are a Chicago treasure.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2012

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the Moment page at

At Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn, Chicago, IL, call 866-811-4111,, tickets $20-$22, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, running time is 2 hours with intermission, through August 18, 2012

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