Save + Quit – New Theatre – Review
Hairpin Productions – Mar 13th – Mar 18th @ 7.30pm
No Performance on St Patrick’s Day, March 17th.
This is essentially two short stories combined to make one play. The first story is based in London and tells the story of Steph and Joe. Steph is a young, idealistic teacher who is trying to make a difference with her students. She takes a shine to one student in particular and visits her family, who are struggling to get by. Joe is a young man working behind a bar and drifting in life. He has just found out his Mum is selling their family home, and it brings back memories of his father. The second story is that of Cara and Dylan and is based in Dublin. Cara is a young strong willed woman from Tallaght. She met Dylan in college and they became close friends but for whatever reason they never became a couple. They had an argument and haven’t spoken in several months but much is left unresolved between the two.
The two stories are told as interwoven monologues with two actors on stage at any one time. The spotlight moves from one actor to the next as they tell their portion of the story. Once the first story is told the second group of actors arrive on stage and we begin again. The stage is simple with no props and only a couple of chairs. The actors rely on their own abilities to tell the story.
The main criticism of this piece is how the two stories relate to each other. There is no real connection between the two tales, other than the characters are at similar stages in life. They are all in their early 20s and are trying to find their place in the world. The London based story was the first to be written and was presented by itself as a shorter production. Writer Sophia Leuner later added the second story to make the play into a more palatable one hour duration.
The writing is well observed and draws the viewer into the character’s world. There are more than a few insights and ideas that will last with you. There is a sense of isolation in each of the characters, as they yearn for something more. The actors do a good job, with Niamh Branigan in particular catching the eye as Cara, the young woman from Tallaght with an acerbic tongue. An impressive new work that is worth your attention.
Written by Sophia Leuner
Directed by Billie de Buitléar.
Joe – Eddie-Joe Robinson
Steph – Josie Charles
Cara – Niamh Branigan
Dylan – Michael Kiersey