Review: ‘The Field’ at Black Point Theatre

The Field: Thu 8pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 2/16; $15-$20; California Stage, 2509 R Street; (916) 455-0163;
Rated 5.0

Black Point Theatre is off to an intriguing start with its inaugural performance of The Field, by playwright John B. Keane.

This compelling drama takes place in a small, Irish village in 1965. When the owner of a small plot of land decides to sell, Bull McCabe (Tom Rhatigan) steps in to claim it. The strong-spirited farmer has spent many years cultivating the field and feels a sense of ownership. When the property goes to auction, McCabe and his son, Tadhg (Thomas Dean) begin coercing the townspeople to conspire with them. But when out-of-towner William Dee (Zane Boyer) shows up to make a bid, the McCabes are faced with an unavoidable problem.

Jouni Kirjola (Bird O'Donnell) plays a mischievous town drunk with a simmering energy and enthusiasm. And Rhatigan's portrayal of a multi-faceted anti-hero is executed with resolve and strength. His transitions from flattery to outrage are intentionally jarring and captivating. The younger actors—Phelan Breton, Diego Breton, Lilian Stribling and Olivia Stribling (Leamy, Conor, Aoife and Ollie Flanagan)—do an excellent job of adding a light-heartedness to the story.

The impressive set, stage direction, soft lighting and Irish accents contribute to the overall excellence of the play.

The flawless performances by this talented cast present a unique, thought-provoking story about insiders and outsiders, lawmen and small-town living. Just how much is one field worth and how far would you go to maintain balance, hide the truth and stay out of danger?