The Kiss – Review by Frank L
Written by Jimmy Murphy
21 APR – 02 MAY @ Theatre Upstairs.
Eddie (Luke Griffin) is a taxi driver who drives nights. He is in his forties-just. He enters into a bar which is otherwise deserted as the owner is more interested in the horses than in his bar. He has been out having a smoke in the pouring rain. He sits down and chats to the audience about where he now finds himself in life. He is ill at ease. The reason he is ill at ease is because he is waiting on a jury’s verdict in a criminal trial. His chat reveals why he is waiting and why his life has been upended by the events which have led to the trial. All has changed. He is back living with his parents a single, gay man almost fifty.
Luke Griffin gives a well nuanced performance as Eddie. He has good timing for the comic lines which add depth to the overall sad events he describes. He paces the monologue and an at all times there is a need to know more. Murphy’s text spaces out the information judiciously and he captures well the bewilderment of anyone whose life has been thrown into chaos by an unexpected event. In Murphy’s text Eddie to a certain extent blames himself for the events which happened. They brought to an end his five years of bliss. All he has left are his memories and a trench coat.
This gentle monologue of a quiet gay, almost fifty year old, man is timely given the current referendum campaign. It does not deal with the issues of gay marriage but it does deal with the standing of a gay man in society in general. It is without histrionics, it is thoughtful, it is funny at times and at other times sad. In fact its emotions are very familiar to any thinking soul regardless of their sexuality. The emotions that are expressed are “virtually normal” to steal the title of Andrew Sullivan’s book published in 1995. It is a thoughtful experience.