REVIEW OF SNAP'D   in the Munster Express  by Liam Murphy

Waterford Youth Drama with their production of Snap'd last week in Garter Lane brought a tear to my heart with the splendid honesty and sensitivity of their group work. It took on the difficult and, sadly, more prevalent topic of teen-suicide and wove from their imaginations and discussions a play of gentle, almost old-fashioned quality, that crept into your head and touched a central image of - what you have lost is not gone forever. Over a four-week period this twenty or so cast devised a version of young life, and Jim Daly crafted their ideas into a gentle erotic tale of telling symbolic images.

Patrick O'Sullivan directed with strength in the verbal and visual image to carry these fine young performers into a transforming piece of theatre. Linda Kavanagh's set and costume design was as thoughtful and as symbolic as you could want it to be. She caught the many moods of the play and there were so many strong visual images. One particular montage of umbrellas in a Rain Rain Go Away was so evocative and telling. Her work had such a unity of purpose and fitted the play so well.

In a series of linked scenes we followed the tragic events that led to the suicide of Jem. We got loss of innocence, loss of a loved one and a loss of time as Young Jem wanted nothing to change as older Jem, called for death. Family and friendship issues were teased out with great care. Ian Gaffney was a pensive Jem who always held the balance between loss and hope. Victor Bible as Young Jem had a lovely lucid quality of innocence and questioning that sliced into your heart. Barry Kavanagh was a wonderful Pop and when he spoke of Grandad dying of sadness there was a lovely mature quality in his acting. Claire Hennebry as Ciara brought a strong sense of nostalgia to the play with her urge to get back to cycling to Dunmore. In her manner and expression you could feel the sense of not wanting things to change, which is not just a childish thing but a poignant adult image as well. Sarah Hutchinson as Suzy, was a knowing tomboy who gloriously described different styles of kissing to Jessica Carri's, Janice who had never kissed a boy. Their dialogue had such a gentle impact on the audience. Mark O'Connell as Louis was thoughtful and bookish and felt that if the friends made a pact to be there always for each other, time might stand still in some pensive Stephen Hawking's way. His performance really touched a nerve of recognition in me.

David Duffy wove a soundtrack of very apt music to underscore many thoughtful and innocent moments and the way he allowed cast members to use everyday objects to create sounds was excellent. Annie Birney played concertina with evocative style. Supporting cast were Richard Collins, Roisin O'Reilly, Ciara Dower, Nathan Twigg, Andrea Dempsey, Jamie Power, Isabelle Murphy, Alan Marsh, Hazel Davis, Aoife Quinn, Monica Ryan, Noelle Mitchell, Matt O'Connell, Deirdre Jordan and Jennifer Tobin.
There was an early image in the play as a red cloth came down from the gantry and Jem reached up for it. It was out of reach and the cast lifted him up to reach it, to help him achieve something he wanted to do. For me this was a wonderful metaphor for the continuing work Waterford Youth Drama do, to help so many young people to reach up and with help achieve goals once imagined but made possible by dedicated and caring people.