Maz and Bricks – Project Arts Centre – Review
Fishamble: The New Play Company Presents Maz and Bricks
25 April 2017-13 May 2017
Photos by Patrick Redmond
Maz meets Bricks in unusual circumstances. They are both on the Red Line Luas coming into Abbey street. He is talking loudly on the phone to one of his friends about the night before. His tale is a mix of sex and drugs and not something he should be broadcasting to the entire tram. Maz is furiously scribbling away on a piece of card and Bricks decides that she is drawing him. Once he is off the phone he apologises to her and starts a conversation. Initially she is unreceptive to his banter, but slowly he starts to win her over.
This is a new play written by Eva O’Connor. It is built around some of the biggest issues in Ireland today, with abortion and suicide troubling both of the characters in one form or other. O’Connor never shies away from the concerns of her time and her previous work My Name is Saoirse discussed an unwanted pregnancy and abortion, although from a very different angle. My Name is Saoirse was first presented at the Fringe Festival in 2014 and went on to win the First Fortnight award. Overshadowed (2015) dealt with a young woman with an eating disorder and how it affected her family and friends.
The set (by Maree Kearns) and lighting (by Sinead McKenna) combine to create an adaptable space. It is a series of ascending platforms, along with an upstand at the back wall, which was used to create the inside of a Luas, a public house and a bridge.
This is another production by Fishamble, who continue to promote new and innovative writing in Ireland. The play starts its run in Dublin before continuing to Limerick, and it is no surprise that it has a strong pro-choice message. With the result of the Citizens’ Assembly still fresh in our ears, this piece shows the damage that not having access to abortion does to the young women of Ireland. The character of Bricks is used somewhat as a counter argument, but the play has a very clear stance.
The play takes the form of a ramble through Dublin, as they name check various places around the city centre. It is an unsual combination of love story and polemic, as the two characters slowly fall for each other, with the backdrop of a protest march. Eva O’Connor plays Maz as an intense and rather angry young woman, who has a troubled past that continues to haunt her. Bricks (Stephen Jones) is a lovable rogue who trades on his wit, although he also has demons which are slowly exposed. While the message is clear, the play is not heavy handed and there is a degree of ambiguity to the characters. They are both flawed and therefore interesting. The two actors are strong in their roles, and carry the piece with style.
25th April – 13th May – Project Arts Centre, Dublin
17th – 20th May – Belltable, Limerick
Written by Eva O’Connor
Directed by Jim Culleton
Cast of Eva O’Connor and Stephen Jones
Set design is by Maree Kearns
Lighting design by Sinead McKenna
Sound design by Carl Kennedy
Produced by Eva Scanlan