Shur I’ll Be Alright Here On Me Own – Smock Alley – Review

I'll be alright

This piece contains three short monologues dealing with people on the edges of society. It has a playful style, with a lot of humour contained in each one.

In the first segment we are introduced to the perfect house wife. She has the cleanest house in Ireland and loves to bake fresh scones for her children. She also likes to burn things! The tale is told through voice over and by the actress herself, as she recounts the first time she set something on fire as a child and the joy of watching it burn. In her adult life, she has learned to control her desire but when she receives a letter from a stranger her former weakness threatens to come to the fore.

The second segment ‘The Sole Collector’ tells the story of a young man with an unhealthy interest in feet. He wonders why there are thousands of lines of poetry written about the eyes or lips, and practically none written about the beauty of the foot. When he encounters a woman with what he sees as the perfect feet, his interest threatens to become an obsession!

The final segment of the three is probably the sweetest tale and does not deal with an outsider to the same degree as the other two. It’s the story of a young woman that is trying to get the courage to tell a man that is within arms reach what she really thinks about him! It’s a sad tale of her shyness and fear of rejection and her attempts to overcome it.

All three performances are impressive and the intimacy of the boys’ school means you have their manic grins within inches of your face. Jarleth Tivnan throws himself into the role of the ‘sole collector’ and he is so forceful in his argument on the beauty of the foot, you almost start to agree. The staging is simple with only a few of pieces of furniture on stage. The lighting works well and is used to intensify their various states of mind.

The three stories are in the world of the Bog Gothic, the outsiders in a rural community and are reminiscent of the work of Pat MCabe among others. It is a well trodden road but there is enough originality in these stories to add to the lexicon. The three short plays do not over stay their welcome at just over an hour combined. They are three quirky short stories that flesh out the various characters well and writer Maria Tivnan deserves praise.

Shur I’ll be alright here on me own was performed on July 26th and 27th in Somck Alley.

Find out more about Fregoli Theatre Company here.

Performed by Mary McHugh, Tracy Bruen, Kate Murray and Oisin Robbins
Directed by Rob McFeely and Kate Murray


Categories: Theatre, Theatre Review

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