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DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: Split Ends – Bewley’s Café Theatre, Dublin

Writer: Lauren Larkin

Director: Aisling Byrne

Reviewer: Ciara L. Murphy

Lauren Larkin’s one-woman-show is a side-splitting peek into the many characters you would find in a Dublin hair salon, but Split Ends also packs a powerful emotional punch.

The production follows Amy, a hairdresser and three of her most colourful clients across one year of their lives, all told from Amy’s salon chair. Larkin (who plays all of four roles) seamlessly transitions from character to character with effortless ease. The effect is very funny, and the production expertly balances the light with the dark, bringing its audience on a journey of emotions.

Each character is played for laughs, and Larkin gets them. But that does not detract from the undercurrent of individual tragedy that begins to show itself in each woman’s life. The toll of their emotional labour more evident with each visit to Amy’s chair.

Larkin’s writing is clever and exacting. Aisling Byrne’s steady direction ensures that the play does not veer off course. The small Bewley’s Café Theatre stage is the perfect venue for this piece. The intimacy of the theatre space mirrors the intimacy of the salon chair. A place in the world where stories are exchanged, where female experiences are shared.

This show is well-placed in this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival. Providing an insight into the hidden emotional labour carried out by women, Split Ends is a must see. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket.

Runs until 22 September 2018| Image: Contributed

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The Ireland team is currently under the editorship of Laura Marriott. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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