Writer: Leonor Bethencourt
Reviewer: Tricia O’Beirne
An exquisitely coiffured and be-gowned Marilyn Monroe lookalike, wearing a high-viz jacket over her pink flamingo dancer’s dress, greets audience members as they descend the stairs in Cava Bodega to take their seats on the flight with the eponymous airline.
The chairs at the tables in the restaurant are all facing forward, and very close together, to emulate a budget airline cabin and Zocorro, our hostess, talks us through the availability of last week’s Sunday Independent, narcotics, alcohol and various other eclectic items; however there are emphatically no chicken and stuffing sandwiches on offer. Eclectic also applies to the themes of Zocorro’s conversational gambits. We are informed about her childhood and her ambitious ex-movie star grandmother, about Marilyn Monroe and how a little girl from Spain came to feel an affinity with the beautiful but doomed Norma Jean. Interspersed with these stories are tales of airline life in the modern world: working – closely – with autopilots instead of live pilots; dealing with sick or annoying passengers; cannibalism (linked to the previous item); and the repercussions of losing one’s job mid-flight. This last allows for Zocorro’s exit, with the help of an imaginary flouncy parachute.
Bethencourt’s stage persona is charming in an off-beat manner – fey and quirky are descriptions which spring to mind. Her delivery at times hits the spot while at other times is a little hesitant. There are many moments of comedy, particularly with respect to the airline’s shortcomings, which have everyone present laughing aloud but the piece has an unfinished feel to it and occasionally rambles as if unsure of where it wants to go. The setting is intimate, which suits the performance, and the overall concept of seating the audience in a restaurant/airline cabin to nibble on food while listening to our air hostess is an appealing one. The material has the potential to be very funny and thought-provoking but is currently a little disjointed in places. Costume design is to the fore however and the combination of Marilyn Monroe and caped defender is a winning one.
Runs until 21 April 2017 | Image: Contributed