Assembly Roxy (V139)
July 31st to August 25th (not 14, 21) 13.20
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 stars)
This is a stunning, funny, disturbing, exhilarating show. It is a monologue about holding on when everything seems to be crumbling. The image behind the title is that of a person as a collapsible chair – strong, sturdy, fit for purpose, useful, worth looking at – but capable of collapsing flat in a moment.
Performer Breffni Holahan is on a dusty plinth above the stage, a plinth she owns like a throne around which she can throw herself. She tells us about the circumstances of her life, her break up with her girlfriend, her loss of her job – did they let her go?, her relationship with her father, and much of the feelings that go with a breakdown. This brilliant show was written by Irish writer Margaret Perry, who has worked with the Abbey Theatre , Dublin, and it won the Origins Award for Outstanding New Work, VAULT festival 2019.
The character show us how she is seen by others, how some think she sees herself as superior, when she is struggling to keep things together, how she sees her body, and how she felt with her lover.
The words and images simply pour out of the performer, at a rate that seems amazing to maintain for the whole hour. Towards the end, we encounter some inarticulacy which serves to greatly highlight the perceptiveness and level of insight that we have been listening to.
I recommend this show very highly if you want a show that leaves you feeling alive to your fingertips on leaving, that takes you inside the mind and experiences of another person, that shows you what language is capable of offering, and gives you a taste of the dramatic skills that are on offer at the Fringe at its best.
Have the experience!