THIS regional premiere of Conor McPherson's Shining City is certainly one for those who love dialogue rather than drama.

It is gripping, difficult to fathom and, without being action-packed, has plenty of twists and turns.

It is Becketsian in style, with long and slowly revealing discussions between therapist Ian and client John.

There is a ghost, too, but, as is typical with ghosts, you're not likely to see it - or are you?

John's wife has died and he's scared to go home as he keeps seeing her ghostly figure.

He has confessions to make too, and these are haunting him even more.

George Irving brilliantly and slowly reveals his character, who is nervy and traumatised, but keen enough to seek out a future to book himself appointments with a therapist.

That man is ex-priest Ian, who, it turns out, has issues himself.

Paul McCleary is excellent as the edgy therapist who, despite attempting to come across as a regular guy, is in the process of dumping his pregnant partner.

He is confused, doesn't really know what he wants from life and seeks solace in the company of a rent boy, convincingly played by Conor Michael Ryan.

Ian's partner, the hopeful, but possibly deluded Neasa, played by Maireed Conneely, is shocked to be cast aside, but the actress will return later with a surprise of her own.

Artistic director Mark Babych wisely relies on the dialogue - it's all in the detail in McPherson's writing, as is the case in the works of Arthur Miller - to allow the action to unfold, while Dawn Allsopp's excellent set makes use of a raised stage, unusual for the Octagon.

A haunting play, in more ways than one.

Octagon Theatre, Shining City.

Until Saturday, June 9