Written by Lindsay Jane Sedgwick
The set is just the back wall draped in a plain fabric and two metal chairs placed facing away from each other. Eloise (Karen Connell) sits on one of the chairs as the audience assembles. A ticking, clicking sound indicates the beginning. This sound is used subsequently and effectively to define the three different acts. When she stands, Connell reveals herself to be svelte and statuesque, accentuated by her long, knee-length, white shirt and barefeet. She is somewhat remote in appearance, unobtainable.
Eloise describes her relationship with her identical twin sister Lulu who is far more outgoing than she is. She smiles far more often. Smiling is an issue for Eloise as the mother had views about smiling. And then there is Dan who works in a chipper, who has hairy arms, and from whom Eloise orders three fried eggs.
In a finely written script, Connell brings to life each of the characters. Her technique is low key, voice rarely raised. She speaks each word with precision. She varies the pace. She allows the comedy and disappointments in the text to emerge naturally. She brings you into the world of Eloise, her likes, dislikes and her needs. They are not that unusual other than that they are complicated by the smiling presence of her identical twin sister, Lulu who dominates her life.
Although the piece is under an hour in duration, the combination of the quality of the text and the authoritative but calm delivery of it by Connell ensures that the world of Eloise is displayed in all of its fragile uncertainties. Connell, in her creation of Eloise, has created an empathetic individual who is to an extent an observer but also well capable of being a participant when the need arises. As a result she and Sedgwick have combined to create a piece of theatre of some moment.
Lindsay Jane Sedgwick / WRITER & DIRECTOR
Aoife Fealy / SET DESIGN
Brian Murray / LIGHTING DESIGN
Claire-Jeanne Nash & Oliver Cronin / VISUAL MEDIA DESIGN
Joanne Lockey / Production Assistant
Susie Cummins / Stage Manager