The Egg is a Lonely Hunter – Project Arts Centre – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review by Frank L.
Dates Sep 14 -15 & 17 @ 13:15 – Tickets €12/ €10 conc.
Duration 60 mins – Other performance Sep 16 @ 14:00
Venue: Project Arts Centre Cube
The Egg is a Lonely Hunter – written and performed by Hannah Mamalis
Among the vibrant benefits of the Dublin Fringe Festival include emerging artists such as Mamalis being given the chance to perfect and fine tune their work that has been in progress. In this instance, Mamalis showed an initial version of this piece as part of the Scene + Heard Festival 2016.
As the audience assembles, Mamalis stands alone on a very slightly raised square platform over which on the right-hand side hang, at different heights, three white globe lampshades. She stands stock still – a figure alone. When the audience is settled. She then begins to talk. She speaks at a fair pace. She states that she works in a shop which sells groceries among other things. It is clear that it was a time when a shop assistant knew their customers.
She is anxious to talk. She has a variety of issues which obsess her but the most prominent one is her fear of eggs! She treats them as if they were spiders and that she suffered from arachnophobia. They are a constant source of fear in her life. She also has individuals who cross her path in the shop, including the local gossip who is likely to take the bleakest view of any happening in the vicinity. The gossip is convinced that a black hole that appeared in the locality was caused by a pervert. She gives little credence to this theory or that a boy, whom she strongly dislikes, had been thereby lured to his death. She is contemptuous of these views of the gossip. There are all sorts of other unusual individuals and events which occur including an old man with a long white beard trying to ride a child’s bike. Some of these events take place in her dreams and others while she was awake. The reality and the dream both have a sense of the bizarre.
Mamalis creates some memorable images such as herself standing in her bath when she notices that one of her nipples is sagging and is lower than the other. She decides with a pen to mark its course downwards on the bathroom tiles like a parent might mark a child’s height over time on a wall. A more disturbing happening is her awakening to discover one of her socks has mysteriously disappeared from her foot during the night and is nowhere to be found. Naturally, this causes her concern.
Her text is at times funny and written with linguistic verve. She delivers the story in a confident and audible voice. She relies more or less entirely on her voice to create her variety of effects as she remains almost physically static, apart from moving occasionally her head from left to right and back again.
The journey that Mamalis travels is at times dark but her sense of the bizarre the ludicrous cannot be suppressed. It is a strange road that she travels but it is a road worth taking the time to experience. She has substance.