David Hayman is brilliant.

A full blog post is coming later this week but just have to put up a brief ‘quickie’ to say I saw last week the most wonderful performance of a great script and production.

It’s Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland at the Tron, a play first done at the Royal Court, London. This Glasgow version comes as the whole N. Ireland situation is once again at a crossroads. Although, given the history and depth of the conflict, in a way when isn’t it?

The play cleverly takes to the limits of absurdity and beyond the cruel logic of Ulster Unionism (No… No .. NO!). This is personified in the main character, Eric. It’s this performance of the lead by David Hayman which blew me and, I’m pretty sure, the entire audience away.

How to make a murderous Orangeman nuanced and sympathetic? David pulls it off so powerfully, quietly and patiently building up the layers of insecurity and bigotry to make a scarily plausible portrait.

It’s a tour de force of such acting depth rarely achieved or seen in my experience. When I first joined the Citizens’ Theatre way back in 1979, Hayman was the company’s lead actor. He was so welcoming I won’t ever forget it. I’ve seen him in various roles over the years and of course he’s been in loads of TV and films, as well as keeping his stage abilities up to scratch.

But even with all that, this is exceptional, as if all his experience is distilled into this profound representation. I don’t need to urge you to see it because it’s likely to be sold out so – grab a ticket if you can. The rest of the five-strong cast and the design are also first-rate.

Paul Bassett


March 2023


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