Seahorse – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review
Dates Sep 19-22 @ 18:30 – Tickets €15 / €13 conc.
Other performance Sep 22 @ 16:15 – Duration 80 mins
Venue: Project Arts Centre Cube
We meet Mara as she has just left her engagement party. She loves her boyfriend Ian and they have a good life together, but things have started to move too quickly for her. She is a marine biologist and has escaped to her place of work; the national aquarium. There she waits in the darkness, with her phone ringing beside her. It is Ian and he wants to know what has happened to her. She looks into the fish tank beside her and sees a couple of seahorses and thinks of the simple and perfect lives they have together.
This is a one-woman show written by and starring Christiane O’Mahony, who is an actor and comedian. The set is quite complex for a Fringe production, as it recreates an aquarium at night, with a dark blue backdrop and two screens either side that displays the world of the seahorses. These animations by Janet Grainger show the seahorses moving and interacting in the tank beside her, a device that works well.
Christiane has a background in comedy and some of the best moments are when she indulges us with some straightforward stand-up. When she recounts her previous boyfriends and their faults, or meeting her aunties at the engagement party who are desperate for information on her future life. The play is very much of its time and the main character is a modern feminist. She watches porn but worries about the lives of the actresses involved. Are they in the videos through choice or has she helped fund their problems?
The central premise of the play is interesting and quite complex. There is an obvious Hollywood ending which they have resisted, instead choosing something very different. This is no romantic comedy and there are no easy answers in real life! There are some issues with the pacing of the piece, but generally this is a smart and amusing new work.