If he's unprepared it's because he's had other things on his mind - the previous day was his father's funeral, as we discover when his uncle Ray (Stephen Kennedy,) who stayed on the couch overnight in case he was needed, comes into the kitchen.
Against his will, Matthew finds himself with an audience for his speech, and one with a lot of strong opinions because Ray owns all the major Shakespeare movie adaptations on DVD, although he hasn't got round to watching them yet (and he doesn't want any spoilers.) As is a common theme in Ireland's plays, the largely comic chat between uncle and nephew doesn't just touch on some emotional moments, but also comes with some pretty dark revelations about how a seemingly well-adjusted family has deep scars caused by the Troubles. In the case of Matthew's late father there's revelations of a very direct effect on his life, but for Ray there's more quietly sad ways that growing up in that atmosphere led to alcoholism and missed opportunities.
At under an hour long, this is essentially a witty comic exchange with an occasional sad undertone. Max Elton's production leans on the chemistry between its cast, Kennedy providing a string of malapropisms and misnomers (the version of Richard III Ray owns is the one starring "you know, Gandalf, Sir Alan McKenna") to Blaney's baffled reactions. The family dynamic is positively sweet by Ireland's usually blackly comic standards, and despite the familiar reminders of the lasting damage of the Troubles, Not Now's overwhelming impression is of a likeable, entertaining comedy.
Not Now by David Ireland is booking until the 26th of November at the Finborough Theatre.
Running time: 55 minutes straight through.
Photo credit: Lidia Crisafulli.