The Poor Little Boy With No Arms – Project Arts Centre – Review
Ruby has just moved to the island of Skibberceannigh. She is leaving behind the big city as she has landed a job in the small rural community. A dream job in many respects, as the lone teacher in the school, she will have full control of it. When she arrives, the locals seem very friendly and greet her with open arms. She is welcomed into their society and makes many new friends, but when she meets one resident, she starts to see a darker side of the island.
This is an unusual piece of theatre, as you will notice that no writer is listed below. Instead the show was devised by the cast along with Mikel Murfi in the Lir Academy. As you would expect from any production involving Murfi, the physical elements of the performance are brought to the fore and the cast use many devices and trickery to heighten the mood.
Mickel Murfi studied at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris and is known for his style of physical acting. His one man show the ‘A Man in Woman’s Shoes’ toured extensively over the last few years and he has also appeared on stage in ‘Ballyturk’ along with Cillian Murphy and Stephen Rea. His influence on this work is evident from the off, as the actors change quickly between characters and create a set and sound effects for the other cast members to interact with. The stage is initially barren other than for a pair of shoes, with the actors creating houses, pubs, streets and a variety of other settings.
The plot of this tale has a slightly gruesome element, with Ruby trying to uncover the terrible deed the townspeople are trying to hide. The duration of 90 minutes felt a little stretched, and some editing would have helped the overall flow of the performance. There are many very enjoyable scenes though and more than enough laughs to carry you through. Only Ruby (Katie Honan) remains constant with the other actors all taking on four or five characters, each feeling quite different, despite only small changes to their clothing or appearance. As a showpiece for the young actors, it is an impressive production that allows them to display their considerable talents.
One Duck presents – The Poor Little Boy With No Arms
19 January 2016-23 January 2016 8.15pm – Tickets €10 – €16
Dates: 20 – 23 Jan €16/14
Cast: Sophie Jo Wasson (The Clinic/The Train/Human Child), Lisa Walsh (Fair City, Game of Thrones), Manus Halligan (Before Monsters Were Made, Reckoners, She Stoops to Conquer), Finbar Doyle (Cirque des Reves, Spectres), Katie Honan (The Windstealers, Vardo) and Colm O’Brien (King Lear, The Vikings).
Directed by Oonagh Murphy
Movement by Bryan Burroughs
Lighting Design by Cillian McNamara
This show, with its original cast, was devised at The Lir Academy with Mikel Murfi.
Thu 21 Jan 1.00pm €16/€14
Fri 22 Jan 1.00pm €16/€14
Sat 23 Jan 2.30pm €16/€14