You used to swing me on our garden gate. In and out, in and out – out and in, me, on top of the gate, safe because I was in your arms, my father’s big strong arms.
Recalling events that may or may not have happened, people he may or may not have known, an elderly father weaves his life, funny, angry, poignant, as if in a dream.His daughter, perched outside his window, as close as the pandemic allows, responds with conflicting memories. They sing and argue, they broach dangerous ground, their profound love apparent despite themselves, until the visiting hour is up.
Written during the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020, Frank McGuinness’s The Visiting Hour premiered in April 2021 at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in the first online Gate At Home production.