Reviews and Audience Responses


Descent... deals with what is obviously a physical and mental disease, and one that has exploded into public debate over the last decade, after centuries of silence. Of all the plays that have recently dealt with the theme of dementia, though, I can’t recall seeing one so straightforwardly powerful and heartbreaking – or so magnificently acted – as this...

‘Everyone, old and young, should see this thought-provoking play... It helps you to understand yourself!

Linda Duncan McLaughlin’s touchingly perceptive play ... gives a lively thumbnail introduction to the upbeat domesticity the couple enjoy, until Rob’s faculties start to unravel. You might not expect humour in the midst of such grim truths, but it flickers in and out, a sparky reminder of how Cathy and her ilk cling on to hope and humanity.

‘I caught myself gasping out loud a couple of times’

... captivating... has an initial lightness of touch which ultimately becomes devastating.... With a brilliant cast and lyrical script by McLaughlin, there is a defiant swerve away from sentimentality, issue-based drama cliches or easy resolution... The likeable nature and gallows humour of this ordinary, loving family is rendered all the more upsetting, as it foreshadows the damage to three lives.

‘Wow – I was transfixed ...Descent was raw, thought provoking , very well acted and a credit to the writer who made us all think even if just for one hour of a day’

Powerful and shocking, Linda Duncan McLaughlin’s Descent at the Traverse grabs you with an intense passion that doesn’t ever hold back.

‘‘The play’s true message is that no one should have to go through dementia alone and help needs to be there when they need it.’

Very powerful piece of work... crafting wonderful and engaging characters and a space for us to be with them, while reflecting more broadly on what dementia means for all our lives. … For me Descent represents a highlight of the work I've seen form part of the Festival so far.

A moving and intense interweaving of the past and future, McLaughlin’s script is brilliantly and sensitively delivered by the three strong cast ... An arresting piece of theatre.

‘Thought provoking entertainment.’

...a no-holds-barred study in the different stages of dementia. It takes a very real look at the problem going well beyond memory loss.

‘Superb acting and truly believable characters made for a disturbing, yet exceptional, experience’

...written with tremendous vigour.... a powerful and engaging piece of theatre.

….Over the years a few of the Oran Mor plays remain vividly in my mind. This one will join them.

A balanced, dignified and deeply sad portrayal of a frightening human experience we might all have to face

‘realistic and valuable ... will be of benefit to those dealing with this dreadful disease.’

A must see.