Rialto review – raw emotional power fuels a punishing character study

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor excels in this bleak Dublin-set drama about a closeted gay man whose life is unravelling

Peter Mackie Burns’s painful, unhappy drama packs a hard punch; you must steel yourself for the emotional blows. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor is excellent as 46-year-old Colm, a Dublin man who looks like a working-class success: nice house, office job at a dockyard, lovely wife and teenage kids. But Colm is secretly gay, and living with the shame for so long has scraped his insides out. There’s nothing left of him: he is drinking heavily, barely functioning, pushing away his concerned wife Claire (Monica Dolan, bringing real emotional depth to the smallish role).

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