Mary Massacre – New Theatre – Review

Mary Massacre

Mary Massacre by Johnny McKnight – Review by Frank L.

New Theatre – Oct 13th – Oct 18th @ 7.30pm – Tickets: €12 (€10 conc.)

Johnny McKnight is a Scottish playwright, director and actor. Mary Massacre, which is a play on the name of a fair known as Mary Mass, was written over five years ago and forms part of McKnight’s rapidly increasing body of work. The set for this two hander is divided into halves by the use of a table with one being the home of Jenny (Jenn McGuirk) and the other that of Leyla (Caroline O’Boyle). There is a screen on the back wall centre on which the days of the week are shown. It starts with Monday and like most Mondays it is a bad Monday. Jenny and Leyla’s separate and independent lives are about to become entangled by the means of internet dating and a sort of interest in the world of psychics.

Jenny is married; Leyla is not. Leyla is becoming a bit desperate as she heads into her thirties. In Jenny’s case the fizz has gone out of her marriage. Both are somewhat lonely. By means primarily of the internet they meet by chance and their lives are changed.

The two actors both speak in a Scottish accent which takes a little time to “get” but their diction is clear and soon the difficulty passes. In the comic sequences they both have good timing and they keep the action tripping along. Each have soliloquies to their loneliness and delivers these with panache. They are good foils for each other. Together they make a fine ensemble.

Mary Massacre despite its gruesome title makes for a lively well-produced and well-acted piece of theatre which reveals an unlikely consequence of internet dating. It is to be enjoyed.

Mary Massacre by Johnny McKnight – New Theatre – Oct 13th – Oct 18th @ 7.30pm – Tickets: €12 (€10 conc.)

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