It is Breda’s birthday and she is home alone with her dark thoughts. She rings her son for what feels like the 100th time and contemplates how her life has reached this point. Her four friends have other ideas though and arrive at her doorstep bearing gifts and ready for a party! As the night progresses we realise that it is not only Breda who is struggling, and they are all battling their own inner demons.
Shush is a new play by Elaine Murphy who also wrote Little Gem (her first full length play) which received great praise in Dublin’s Fringe Festival in 2008 and has toured widely since, and was the winner of the Carol Tambor Award at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2009. This new play follows a similar format and is a comedy that deals with female friendship and the various problems of modern life. There is a dark undertone to the play which is put in place by the opening scenes, but there is never much doubt that this play will have a happy ending.
This play is mostly well acted with Deirdre Donnelly (Breda) and Ruth Hegarty (Irene) impressing. It is played for laughs and the comedic timing and variety of witty lines throughout the work carry it along at a fast pace. After the interval the play moves up a gear and a variety of truths are revealed to the group.
This is a light hearted situation comedy with a good deal of spark and fire within it. This is a play clearly aimed at an older female audience and as such, I was not in its target market, but I have to say despite my initial reservations there was than enough there to keep anyone entertained. It moves along at a good pace and there are a lot of laughs along the way. The audience last night seemed to know what to expect, so the writer Elaine Murphy has obviously developed a following from her first work, and I would imagine this will only enhance her reputation.
Shush runs at the Abbey Theatre from Thursday 6 June – Saturday 20 July. It opens tonight (11-06-13), the review was on the final preview show.
Time: Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Saturday matinee 2pm
Eva Bartley – Clare
Barbara Brennan – Marie
Niamh Daly – Ursula
Deirdre Donnelly – Breda
Ruth Hegarty – Irene
Elaine Murphy – Writer
Jim Culleton – Director
Anthony Lamble – Set Design
Kevin McFadden – Lighting Design
Niamh Lunny – Costume Design
Denis Clohessy – Sound Design
Liz Roche – Movement Coordinator
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