Writer: Colm Keegan
Director: Mark O’Brien
Reviewer: Saoirse Anton
For Saoirse takes place over just one eventful night. Craner’s ex, Emily, is having their baby, and Craner can do nothing right. Pulled to and fro between the admonishments of Emily’s disapproving grandmother, the ire of the unpredictable Bocker and the mysterious appearance of James Connolly, Craner is doing his best to do right by Emily. But that’s not easy to do when the walls are falling in.
An astute depiction of one man’s struggle with a city that is not the home he remembers and a life that is changing faster than he can imagine, For Saoirse blends personal fiction with the social reality to bring a troubled Dublin to life on stage. With lines like “When is a hotel room not a hotel room? When it’s a luxury family homeless shelter,” Keegan brings the reality of so many in the city into sharp relief. As Craner stumbles through the night, trying to bring Emily to the Rotunda, rescue a blanket and return a moped to the volatile ‘Bocker,’ all while feeling the effects of an earlier dab of an unidentified drug in a club, For Saoirsepulls together the past and the present to question the future. By putting James Connolly on the streets of modern Dublin, Keegan garners laughs galore, while still reminding the audience of the more sobering reality of a city in the midst of a housing crisis.
Eric O’Brien delivers an impressive performance, switching between various characters with dexterity and precision. His Rotunda security guard draws gales of laughter, while his portrayal of Craner’s father prompts a tentative silence. For Saoirse may be a one-man show, but it doesn’t feel like it as O’Brien draws together every character’s nuances and quirks to create a comprehensive picture of Craner’s experience of one night in a city that is slipping away from him.
A madcap sketch of a moment in life, For Saoirse never pauses as it fills the stage with comedy, history, uncertainty, pain, and most of all the humanity of small infinities.
Runs until 22 September 2018 | Image: Contributed