Breda’s Way – New Theatre – Review – Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival


Breda’s Way – Written and Performed by Breda Larkin

Review by Frank L.

In the summer of 1985, the small village of Ballinspittle, County Cork made waves internationally when the statue of the Virgin Mary in the village’s grotto was seen to move. Thousands of pilgrims in the following days flocked to Ballinspittle hoping to catch a glimpse of this wondrous phenomenon. In the summer of 1990, Ireland was gripped by football mania during the World Cup in Italy, the high point of which was Packie Bonner saving a certain goal in the penalty shoot-out against Romania. In the autumn of 1990, Mary Robinson attracted international attention by being the first woman to be elected President of Ireland with her victory being a catalyst to usher in an Ireland very different to the devotional world of Ballinspittle five years earlier. These are a few of the unlikely events which Breda Larkin uses as she tours around Ireland in her van visiting “holy” places with a statue of the Virgin Mary in a baby seat beside her. All a bit wacky.

Breda tells the story unashamedly as a lesbian which is living proof of the distance Ireland has travelled since 1985. She is assisted by projections on which various images appear including a video of Ballinspittle and a view of Ballina, Mary Robinson’s home town. There is not a video of Packie saving the goal but Breda gives an imitation of him doing so reminiscent of the photographs which appeared on the front pages of the newspapers the following day.

While the journey around Ireland has its moments and it is fun to be reminded of the various events, there are other times, particularly during the songs, when this show fails to engage.

Breda’s Way

Tickets €10.
Dates Sep 11 – 12 @ 16 – 18 @ 13:00.
Tickets €10.
Duration 55 mins.
Venue: The New Theatre


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