The Half of It – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review
Dates Sep 12 – 16 / 18 – 24 @ 19:30 – Tickets €15/ €13 conc.
Duration 50 mins – Other performance Sep 16 & 23 @ 14:30
Venue: Meeting Point @ archway entrance to Baggot Court Lower Baggot Street
Photo: R. Taylor Photography
There is always a sense of trepidation about theatre such as this. The fact that you’re not quite sure what you’re going to or how it will work. Instead of being told a specific location, we were simply told a meeting point, that of Baggot Court, Lower Baggot Street. The theatre makers have gone to some lengths to keep the destination a mystery so I won’t give too much away. Suffice to say it is a seated production at a suitably dilapidated location. It is a short walk from the meeting point and the location does add considerably to the production.
The playwright and actor for this production is Karen Cogan. Karen is a RADA trained actress who has performed at the Old Vic and the Gielgud Theatre, among others. She is currently the Playwright-in-Residence for MOMMO theatre company, who are responsible for this production.
This is a one woman show, where Karen takes on the role of a recluse, shut into a small flat. It is a tale of a young woman who has not left her home in many years. She has become housebound and can only look at the outside world through her window. There is an impressive flow to the stream of consciousness text, which at times echoes Beckett’s monologues with a more contemporary feel. We hear elements of her life and her complicated relationship with her sister, who is the most important person in her world.
There is a subtle intimacy to the production, as you are forced into the world of a shut in, seeing the complexity of her solitary existence. Often the problem with a monologue is that your mind wanders, but due to the close proximity of actor, you never get the chance. You are in her world, a ghost seeing her most intimate moments. The style of delivery is such that you are only given pieces of the jigsaw and left to put it together yourself. The play is a slow burning and complex vision of a woman’s inner life.
The Half Of It by Karen Cogan
Director – Cathal Cleary
Designer – Saileóg O’Halloran
MOMMO Theatre Company