When Rachel Met Fiona – New Theatre – Review
Until 1st April
We meet Fiona (Eilish McLaughlin) as she’s about to make one of the most significant decisions of her life, she’s about to ask her girlfriend to marry her. She’s picked the perfect restaurant and everything is in place. She’s discussing it with her friend Rachel (Emma Dargan-Reid) and seems less than convinced she is making the right decision. That’s when Rachel comes clean; she still has feelings for Fiona…
This is an LGBTQ love story that seems decidedly modern. There is no guilt or individuals struggling with their sexuality, this is two modern women who are happy with their place in the world. They are talented professional women who want it all, a career and a perfect family and this is their story.
‘When Rachel Met Fiona’ was previously performed at the New Theatre as a rehearsed reading in The New Theatre’s New Writing Week 2020. It had a brief run in The Space (London) in 2021. After a delay due to Covid, this is the first full production of the work. The play is written by Colette Cullen who has previously written Everyone’s Sorry and Family Tree, among others. The director of the piece is Iseult Golden who will be known to many for Class which was first performed at the New Theatre back in 2017 before travelling to the Peacock stage at the Abbey Theatre and beyond.
The action takes place in the sitting room of the couple’s apartment, as they wait for taxis to arrive or enjoy a quiet night at home. The backdrop of the stage is a colourful floral mural, with a sofa and other odds and ends providing a simple but effective setting.
The play takes us on a whistle-stop tour of the lives of these two characters. Each scene jumps ahead a number of months or years and gives us insights into the difficulties facing the young couple at any particular time. This is a character-driven piece which does not have many twists or turns, these are everyday problems that affect all couples, if with an LGBTQ slant. The two cast members embrace the warmth and compassion of this simple love story.
Cast and Creatives
Cast: Emma Dargan-Reid (Dubliners, Richard III) & Eilish McLaughlin (The Cavalcaders, Eclipsed, Othello)
Director: Iseult Golden (Next Please, Class)
Set and Costume Design: Lisa Krugel
Lighting Design: Cathy O’Carroll
Stage Manager: Eva Walsh
Photography: Al Craig
Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review
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