The Words are There by Ronan Dempsey.

Domestic violence is a difficult topic to approach on a social platform in the arts. However, victims of these crimes are only women surely? Wrong, statistics show that for every three reported incidents one of those is against a man.

Ronan Dempsey ‘s one-man physical performance production brings to the Fringe a powerful play about a male victim of domestic violence.

His female co-actor takes the form of an old rope head mop. Which as the story progresses the suspension of your disbelief takes over and you visualise the female form rather than seeing a dressed up a prop.

The slow demise into how abuse is drip-fed into a domestic violence relationship is sympathetically played out for the audience. The first violent contact takes place in the night club when Trish goes into a jealous rage. It is at this point that the audience wakes up to what has been subtly playing out in front of you.

As Trish deepens her hold on him the things she once told him she loved about him are now used against him as verbal daggers. Such as his stutter. Leaving her victim reeling and confused at her treatment of him.

The fear in Dempsey’s body language and pronounced stutter worsens as her control take a firm grip on the relationship. Nothing in an abusive relationship happens immediately the build-up is always a gradual one.

The Words are There is the first production this year to have prompted tears in my eyes. An extremely moving performance which leaves a mixture of horror, shock and empathy all rolled into one as the extremely emotive play ends.

Four Stars

If you are affected by any of the issues raised please check out the website below.

Support for men


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