The Gate Theatre’s contribution to the Dublin Theatre Festival was a Conor McPherson written and directed, variation on the Daphne deMaurier short story, The Birds. Alfred Hitchcock turned that 1951 story into an chilling but stylish movie starring Tippi Hedron and Rod Taylor.

I don’t want to give away much of the story as this production contains several shocks, surprises, a cracking soundtrack of noises by Simon Baker and a spooky set by Rae Smith, who designed the NT production of All’s Well That Ends Well.

McPherson manages to crank up the tension, although I find his work very wordy and at times dreary but like The Weir, the shock when it comes is worth waiting for. Ciaran Hinds and Sinead Cusack were terrific and some of Cusack’s lines are her voiceover, yet her face registers the emotion.

This production runs until November and keeps to the bleak theme that nature could rise up and turn on humans, with scary results.