The Irish Times review uses the words “Heartbreaking and hilarious” to describe this play and you’ll be pleased to know it contained more hilarity than heartbreak. I went to see it last Friday 1st March. One of the sell-out hits of last year’s Dublin Fringe Festival, I was dying to see it having missed out the first time round. I was delighted to hear about this mini-tour this year in February and March featuring the Draíocht Blanchardstown, the Axis Ballymun and finishing off in Vicar Street.
Maeve Higgins supported with some stand-up comedy beforehand, a monologue of witty stories and commentary of her own single status. She concluded with a story about proposals from her recently published book ‘We Have a Good Time…Don’t We?’ It was a great start to the play although a little marred by latecomers getting seated. Vicar Street is a great venue for comedy shows and music acts but not so sure the same is true of plays.
Following a short interval, the eight actors took to the stage. The set design was minimal but effective featuring eight chairs and some projection on the back screen. The play was written by Una McKevitt and David Coffey. They interviewed over 50 singletons which resulted in this theatre documentary exploring the art of being single through real-life stories. Stand-up comedian Eric Lalor featured as part of the eight ensemble who each told their own stories mixed in with stories from other singletons. The names and ages flashed across the screen behind them to signify who they were. This led to a bit of confusion as the girl in front of me kept turning to her friend saying ‘sure there’s no way he’s 54’ and ‘I’m sure her name’s Joanne’! What lifted the play to another level was the brilliant and catchy soundtrack by musical comedy duo The Guilty Folk who were part of the ensemble. The standout performers for me were Eric Lalor and Joanne McNally who both shone on stage. You could tell all the performers were having a great time and even the odd slip-ups were endearing rather than awkward especially when they had to do a dance routine.
The stories were humorous, honest and at times a little shocking. It made me laugh out loud and dance in my seat. If you get a chance to see this funny play then go see it – would totally recommend it for a good night out. I’m sure it’ll be back again real soon at a theatre near you but be sure to keep an eye out.