The Cat’s Mother – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review
Dates Sep 19-22 @ 19:00 – Tickets €14 / €12 conc.
Other performance Sep 22 @ 13:30 – Duration 60 mins
Venue: Smock Alley Theatre Black Box
We meet Sinead when she has just arrived at her sister Ciara’s flat in London. Ciara thinks her sister has come for a weekend of respite from caring for their mother but she has brought a few surprises with her. The first is their cat muggins! She is an old cat and somewhat infirm, suffering from cat AIDS among other complaints. The other surprise is more substantial, as she has brought their mother to visit also. This is not a problem in itself other than their mother suffers from early onset alzheimers and has become a problematic and sometimes violent woman. This leads to a weekend where they will have to make some difficult decisions that will alter all their lives!
This is a new play written by Erica Murray that turns this very difficult subject matter into an offbeat comedy. The original production of this play featured in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. The play has three cast members, with Sarah Madden playing Ciara and Eimear O’Riordan as Sinead. The final member of the cast is Kate Kennedy who plays all the other roles of the play, such as zoo keepers, lawyers, doctors, yogi masters, surly coffee shop workers and intense personal trainers!
There is little or no set, other than a large pink bean bag and a couple of cushions to go with it, which are meant to be the inside of Ciara’s flat, among other locations. This is a stripped down production that focuses on the characters involved. The main thing it goes for is laughs. The subject matter involved instantly make it the blackest of black humour. The performances are strong, with Kate Kennedy particularly catching the eye. She towers over the other actors physically and was very intimidating in her variety of unusual roles. Many could be offended by making a comedy out of this subject matter, but if you’re prepared to run with it, it turns this difficult topic into a lot of fun.