Punt – New Theatre – Review

Punt – New Theatre – Review
by Tara Doolan & Pius McGrath

Jul 2nd – Jul 14th

The play starts with Jack’s earliest memory of placing a bet. He is with his uncle at Listowel races. His uncle picks a horse and gives him some money. He goes to the counter himself, where he is barely tall enough to give the money to the woman working there. He returns to his uncle to watch the race and is amazed to see his horse win! This bet turns out to be the first of many, as gambling becomes the obsession of his life!

This is a new play by Tara Doolan and Pius McGrath which explores addiction and gambling in Ireland. We meet one young man and follow his journey as he starts to lose everything in his life through addiction. Jack is played by Pius McGrath in this one man play. McGrath also plays a variety of other characters including Jack’s uncle, along with his friends and the villains of the piece, the bookies who extend his credit! 

While McGrath is alone on stage, he does have the advantage of a variety of projections and recordings to add to the production. These images and sounds are used throughout, with McGrath interacting with the voices and projections being displayed.

The plot dabbles with the banking crisis and other contemporary issues, which felt slightly out of place. While the plot to the play is somewhat predictable, the ending is surprising and does shine a light on the impact that addiction can have on people’s lives. The subject matter of the play makes it difficult to get much humour into the piece, but there are some funny moments, especially in the earlier parts of the story. McGrath does well with the various characters, giving each one a sense of individuality. It is an interesting night of theatre, exhibiting the skills of this young performer and exploring a dark and difficult world.

Performed, written and produced by Pius McGrath.
Written and directed by Tara Doolan

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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