Split Ends – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre – Review by Frank L.
Split Ends – Written by Lauren Larkin and Aisling Byrne
Until April 13th 2019
As the title might lead you to expect, we are entering the world of hairdressing. In particular, we are in a ladies salon where Amy (Lauren Larkin) rules the roost. The salon consists of a large hairdresser’s chair centre stage a small reception desk to one side and an incidental table to the other. It is a simple and effective set. Amy lets us know that although young she has her fella’ Darren and a house which is nearly the way she wants it. She appears content.
Initially, she is alone early in the morning in the salon about which she is passionate and she chats assuredly about herself and Darren. Her monologue is interrupted by a telephone call from a customer. This conversation reveals a fine ability to write a script which is understandable and funny, notwithstanding only one side of the conversation is heard. There then follows a succession of three customers of varying ages who come into the salon to have their hair done. Larkin switches into these various characters with the simple technique of sitting herself in the chair facing the audience and becoming the customer. The lighting changes to focus on the chair. It is an effective device which enables Larkin to play Amy and her three customers with a confident ease. The text is full of the glories of the language of Dubliners which is enhanced by Larkin’s innate ability to deliver the words with a fine comic timing. We enter into the ups and downs of these three customers’ lives. But Amy has a life too and gradually what is revealed is that her life is more complex than the contented world she initially chose to show. There are two very different sides to this hour long play.
This play began its life in the Dublin Fringe Festival 2018. Therefore, its return to Bewleys Cafe Theatre is particularly welcome. Go and enjoy the roller coaster of emotions on which Amy will bring you.