Mark O'Rowe's play The Approach is a drama about the inner lives of three Dublin women as they try to make sense of their world. It was first performed at Project Arts Centre, Dublin, on 6 February 2018, produced by Landmark Productions, and was staged at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The play's action comprises a series of two-way conversations between three women, Anna, Cora and Denise. In the first, Anna and Cora catch up after a substantial period of time, sharing news and gossip. They recall a girl they both knew from school, Emily Dowling, who later committed suicide. Anna says she hasn't been in touch with her sister, Denise, whom she blames for taking from her the man she loved, Oliver, who has subsequently died. They reminisce fondly about the time they lived together with Denise in a house in Ranelagh. They part, promising to meet again soon. In the next section, Cora meets up with Denise, and the details of what they share begin subtly to diverge from the previous conversation. Over the course of further meetings, only ever between two of the three women, Anna and Denise decide to put their differences behind them, while confidences exchanged between the women turn out to be less than reliable, new beginnings appear to falter, and darker confessions emerge.
The premiere production was directed by Mark O’Rowe with set and lighting design by Sinead McKenna. It was performed by Cathy Belton (as Cora), Aising O’Sullivan (as Anna) and Derbhle Crotty (as Denise).