Pure Mental – Draíocht – Review

Pure Mental – Draíocht – Review

Keith Walsh had the perfect life. He was a DJ on the morning show with 2FM, our national broadcaster. He has a beautiful wife and two children. Everything seemed right in his world until one morning he was called into an office and told he was fired! This is his story of dealing with being unemployed and how he learned to accept that life sometimes give you lemons.

This is a one-man autobiographical show written and performed by Keith Walsh. It is his first play and he worked with Director/ Dramaturg Janet Moran on the piece, to adapt his story for the stage. It is currently on an Irish tour and was in Draíocht, Blanchardstown last Friday night.

The set is relatively simple, with a skewed rectangular frame projecting out of the stage floor and a chair to one side. There is a screen at the back of the set, where animations appear to supplement the ideas and stories Keith tells on stage.

While Keith’s story is a relatively simple one, he does deal with going to therapy. In L.A. and New York, going to a therapist is a mundane part of life, but in Ireland, it is viewed as something solely for those that are ‘pure mental’. He also digs through his childhood in rural Ireland in the 1980s and its lack of stimuli. His sole dream was to own a red Coca-cola yo-yo! There are a few other issues dealt with, including a physically abusive teacher and his mother’s unusual attempts at punishments.

It’s hard not to warm to Keith on stage, he comes across as an affable character and easy company. This is not a production where a man bears his soul to the audience leaving them in tears and providing a cathartic experience. This is closer to an hour of stand-up comedy where this likeable man tells us about the last few years of his life. There are few belly laughs or cutting comments on Irish society, but there is a shared experience that life doesn’t always work out as planned.

Keith Walsh – Writer/Performer
Janet Moran – Director/Dramaturg
Phil Jennings – Production Designer
Riverbank Arts Centre – Producer

Tuesday, 7 December │ 8pm | Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise
Booking: 057 866 3355 www.dunamaise.ie │Tickets €16/€14

Wednesday, 8 December │ 8pm | Glór, Ennis
Booking: 065 684 3103 www.glor.ie │Tickets €18/€16

Thursday, 9 December │ 8pm | The Source Arts Centre, Thurles
Booking: 504 90204 www.thesourceartscentre.ie │Tickets €16/€14

Friday, 10 December │ 8pm | Townhall Theatre, Cavan
Booking: 049 4380494 www.cavanarts.ie │Tickets €16/€14

Tuesday 14 & Weds 15 December │ 8pm | An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny –
Booking: 074 912 0777 http://www.angrianan.com │Tickets €15/€12

Thursday 16 & Friday 17 December │ 8pm | Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny
Booking: 056 7761674 www.watergatetheatre.ie │Tickets €18/€16

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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