The American Keegan Theatre, who tour Ireland every year over the past decade or more have bypassed Waterford the last two years and I caught up with their production of Sam Shepard’s vague and unsettling Fool for Love at the Watergate, Kilkenny.

I expected a classic American take on the production and while I enjoyed Colin smith’s direction it seemed to have the same problems with a lasso and offstage sound effects.

Shepard was influenced by Beckett and Pinter and this play set in a hotel in the Mojave Desert explores the love-hate relationship of two half-siblings who shared the same feckless father. Eddie the half-brother is a fantasizing rodeo star and may is running away from Eddie and her past. She is a wild child of the type you can’t live with or live without and Eddie tracks her down and tries to drive away her men friends like the passive Martin.

All the while onstage is the physical presence of Old Man who interjects to both of his children or just overlays a monologue to confuse as much as to enlighten.

At seventy minutes it is an extended One Act play with strong but strange emotions.

Larissa Gallagher electrified the stage as May. Mark A Rhea had his moments as Eddie but he seemed to over-emphasise a drunken stupor and his work with the lasso was amateurish with an almost rigid plasticized rope.

KJ Thorarinsson was a fine Martin but Kevin Adams seemed too young for Old Man.HH