Writer: Clara Mallon
Director: Colum Folan
Reviewer: Laura Marriott
The audience first hear the two actors before they see them. They are singing in a soft, mournful manner as they enter from the left of the stage. The stage has been left empty except for two clipboards resting at the back. This keeps the attention on actors Lucy Cray – Miller and Clara Mallon. They are both dressed in black and the lighting is simple. The focus remains on the speech in this production; a mixture of dialogue and monologue with occasional singing.
The two characters, who we soon learn are mother and son, share dialogue with the audience before moving into alternate monologues. It is revealed that the problems in their relationship began at pregnancy when the mother felt as though her own body was fighting against her. This continued after birth when she was presented with a child that never cried; in fact he rarely seemed to react at all. He remains blank and she is distraught that he doesn’t seem to need her. Believing that there is something wrong she takes him to specialists who find him to be a very healthy child but begin to question the mother’s mental health. Soon the two characters are diagnosing each other, questioning, and trying to find a way to live with each other. There is a saying that it is not enough to love someone, they have to know that they are loved.
At Odds is presented by Kepler Theatre Works as a part of Smock Alley Theatre’s Scene and Heard Festival, which gives new writers a chance to see their work on stage. Running at only 30 minutes long At Odds is a fascinating investigation into an unusual mother son relationship in which love is uncertain and confused. It is a deep and intense piece of work that is well balanced between the two characters and very well delivered.
Runs until 24 February 2017 | Image: Contributed