After the first act of Teresa Deevy’s obscure 1932 Irish drama Temporal Powers, we think we’ve got it pegged: A couple (Aidan Redmond and Rosie Benton) struggling mightily with poverty and each other find a sack of cash wedged in the eave of the ruined hovel they’re living in, having been evicted the day before. She wants to keep it; he wants to turn it over to the church. We seem to be in Simple Plan territory, a moral bear trap set to spring. But anyone lucky enough to have caught the Mint’s last Deevy play — last year’s Wife to James Whelan — knows that this long-lost playwright doesn’t do “simple.” What unfolds in acts two and three is a rich and richly troubling portrait of a marriage, and a community, struggling in the vast, disaster-pocked no-man’s-land between comforting moral absolutes and total exigency. Whiskey is served at the act breaks. You’ll need it, in the best way.
Temporal Powers is playing at the Mint Theater through October 2.