Director: Jim Culleton
Writer: Donal O’ Kelly
Reviewer: Ciara Murphy
The tone for tonight’s production of Little Thing, Big Thing in the Civic Theatre is set in stone as John Comiskey’s iron clad, unfriendly and ominous set design dominates the arena. Exciting and incredibly fast paced Little Thing, Big Thing is another success for O’Kelly.
Presented by Fishamble and directed by Jim Culleton, Little Thing, Big Thing tells the story of a crook; Larry (Donal O’ Kelly) and a nun; Martha (Sorcha Fox) who embark on an unlikely journey full of corruption, danger and darkness. Martha, returning to Ireland from Nigeria for the first time in 16 years, brings with her an old roll of film. She must deliver it into the hands of her friend Henry Barr and she must trust no one. Rescued from the convent which was once her home by Larry, who was attempting to rob it at the time, the unlikely duo forge a bond that only the mutual fear for your life can create.
O’ Kelly is no stranger to controversial topics and like his recent production Fionnuala, which toured across Ireland, he shines the light on corruption, violence and evil doing in the oil and gas industries. Although never saying as much, the audience is left in no doubt to whom the ‘Scarab Oil Company’ represents. The truth that is hidden behind the fiction of this piece darkens it further.
Energetic as always O’Kelly delivers a sterling performance, transitioning from character to character with an unrivalled ease and believability. Fox’s portrayal of Martha is of equal measure as she flawlessly navigates the fine line between tragedy and comedy on the Civic stage. The two work brilliantly together, with the chemistry between them strong from the start and unwavering for the duration of the piece.
The set design is simple but highly functional, capable of being ten spaces in one, transitioning with ease between a van, a convent, the Four Courts and the trunk of a Mercedes. Its transformative nature it marries well with the ever-changing character rôles of Fox and O’Kelly who work together to represent every character in the play between them. It is difficult to pull off such a constantly changing medley of action but this production succeeds where many others wouldn’t.
Serious and hilarious at the same time, this is a show that should not be missed.
Photo courtesy of Fishamble. Runs until 29th March in The Civic Theatre and on tour across Ireland.