My Left Nut – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre – Review by Frank L
March 12 – April 07, 2018
Time: 1pm (doors at 12.50pm)
Written by Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney
The play begins with Michael Patrick being comforted at the funeral of his father in Belfast. It is 1998, the year of the Good Friday Agreement and he is a mere eight years old. He has three siblings. The story he tells is his and that of his family. In particular, he refers to the relationship with his mother given that his father is dead. He explains lucidly as a young boy he did not really believe his daddy was dead. He brings you through all his insecurities and confidences with his siblings and his school friends and his unique bond with his mother as she tries to be both a mother and father to him. However, their relationships has its limits as something starts taking place in his private parts which he can’t discuss with her! One of his testicles starts to grow very, very large. Patrick and Kearney write beautifully about the young man’s dilemma.
Patrick acts throughout with a great authenticity. This may be because the story he tells is autobiographical but he generates on stage an authority of real substance as he moves from happy to sad and comic to tragic moments. He has an entirely credible performance of his mother as she handles her adolescent son’s growing pains. He shows a great empathy for the predicament that she faced as a young widow trying to raise a family. It is a very impressive performance from a young actor.
Oisín Kearney, the co-author, directs and he and Michael Patrick in transforming the script, to a performance on stage, have created a substantial piece of theatre. It highlights a mature relationship between a mother and son with an immense sense of respect and love. A phenomenon made more valuable as not too often seen on the stage. While exceedingly funny, it is also serious. Go and see it.