Finn – Smock Alley – Review by Letizia Delmastro
Part of the Scene + Heard Festival 2019
Finn, a new short play by Cuckoo Lane Productions, presented as part of the Scene and Heard festival in Smock Alley, quickly manages to draw the spectator into its slightly maddening world. Paul, a middle aged man efficiently brought to life by Kieran Rushe, opens the piece by directly addressing the audience, and then getting involved in a chat with his cat, Finn (Mary Tuite). The conversation ranges from the filthy crows living in the area to a strange little story about a lady found dead, and (allegedly) eaten by her cat. The snappy back and forths, the peppered language and the comfortable, down to earth banter between the characters draw plenty of laughs and get the spectator wanting more.
Slowly and steadily, we are let in to a deeper, darker side of Paul. He is not just a regular guy having a chat with his cat, he is also a desperate and lonely father trying to find his long-lost daughter. Finn, the witty little confidant, could be the way into that. Through a series of well-balanced ups and downs the audience discovers more about Paul’s past and about his audacious plans to get “the people in Leinster House” to help him gain his fatherhood back; right until the end, where some unexpected turns force the audience to completely reconsider the characters and their world.
An overall well executed play, Finn, as a work-in-progress, still presents some flaws: some miscalculated light changes blinding the audience, voices getting lost during speeches and a cat not seeming very feline, either vocally or physically…but at the same time it is a greatly entertaining play, full of humour and feelings, and sparking up a conversation about fathers’ rights, mental health and grief.
Still in need of a final polish, Finn presents some gripping material, definitely leaves the audience wanting more and with great expectations for what the finished product will be.
Written by: Andy Leech
Directed by: Katy Leech
Music by: Christy Leech
Stage manager: Emily Duignan
Lights and Sound by: Aoine O Hara
Production: Cuckoo Lane Productions