‘Come on Angel, don’t you ever want to fly?’
Cork city in 1948. Two girls are flying kites. They do not know each other, but when their kites tangle, it is the beginning of a compelling story of love and friendship.
Kitty is Cork born and bred, but Angel is a refugee from Spain, fleeing war and bereavement, she is endeavouring to make Ireland her home. Their lives become intertwined and we see them grow together from young children to women as they share a fantasy world and begin to navigate adult life. Will friendship be enough to hold them together, or will the desire to fly and be free take them to different places?
Kites is littered with humour. Fast paced and expertly plotted, it pulls on cultural differences to make the audience laugh at the contrast between Cork humour and a more practical Spanish approach. Their life story is flowing with soul and spirit, which is enhanced by the at times beautiful dialogue and triumphing of hope over adversity.
The costumes are a stand out feature of Kites. Designed by Ruairi MacMhaoilir, they tell the story of different cultures, merging lives, and differing hopes. Costume changes are effortlessly achieved and serve the narrative well. The audience is invited to see Kitty and Angel’s private selves; the ones they share with each other and hide from the world. As the two girls come of age, they will have to decide if it is time to fly the nest and seek adventures in pastures new, or if the sanctuary they have crafted for themselves will be enough to sustain their imagination.
Told with a relaxed, conversational tone, there would be scope for a follow up play to see where our protagonists find themselves in the future. Kites is absorbing from beginning to end; and as the lights came up one is left hungry for more. Kites will stay in the memory for a long time and is one not to be missed.