Tag Archives: Jamie O’Neill

Theatre Upstairs: Monster?


A new collaboration between Theatre Upstairs and EGM Productions has brought a real gem to its audience. Emily Gillmor Murphy’s new play Monster? is an original poignant story that won’t leave anyone feeling indifferent.

Let’s have one more conversation about women’s reproductive rights. Let’s look at the situation from a different point this time: what if she just doesn’t want to be a mother? Does it make a monster out of her? After all, all that a woman wants is to have a choice and not to be judged or frowned upon for how she feels.

Nell (played by Aisling O’Mara) – a mother-to- be – a woman – an individual and a human being just like anyone else – keeps repeating to her unhappened partner Adam (played by Jamie O’Neill) that the body is hers. Not his or the baby’s, but hers. After a drunk one night stand, she quickly discovers her unexpected new condition. Adam, though a nice guy but definitely not yet ready for becoming a father, after a brief freak out offers Nell to move in with him and, maybe, start a family. Isn’t it, after all, what every girl dreams of? Almost an orphan herself, Nell already knows she doesn’t want this baby. Not because she is an evil creature or a witch from a kid’s fairy tale but simple because she doesn’t feel ready to bring a new life into this world. My body – my choice? Or shall Nell just follow the rules of the society and silently consent to what God has created every woman for?

This roughly an hour long play doesn’t only take an unconventional approach to an important (mostly unspoken of) social topic but it also has an absolutely perfect sharp ending for a piece of this kind. With a small cast of three, Monster? is a surprisingly funny play. Michael Glenn Murphy (who plays Ru) provides the ultimate comic relief, while the other two actors wonderfully balance the tragedy and the heaviness of the story. All under the directing hand of the master himself – Karl Shiels.

Lisa Krugel’s simple but quite stunning stage design – a bar – is the first thing that welcomes you into Theatre Upstairs’ cosy auditorium. It provides the perfect setting for the story and the unforgettable beginning.

Monster? is a play that gives you more than mere entertaining and a nice night out. It gives you some real food for thought. It’s a brave, challenging production created by a bunch of undoubtedly talented and creatively inspiring artists.

Monster? by Emily Gillmor-Murphy runs in Theatre Upstairs till April 29th. So, there is no excuse not to go! For more info or to book tickets: http://www.theatreupstairs.ie/monster

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Filed under EGM Productions, Monster?, Theatre Upstairs, Uncategorized

Project Arts Center: Our Island (Tiger Dublin Fringe’15)

Christmas has arrived earlier this year!

As part of Dublin Tiger Fringe’15 Mirari Productions present Our Island, not just a comedy, but an emotional rollercoaster.

Our Island, developed in association with Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and London’s Old Vic Voices, is a story of two young boys who fell in love. It even looks like life is going pretty well for them. Jack (played by Peter Corboy) is an Irish photographer who has recently moved to London. The first friend he makes there is Bradley (played by Rob Malone), an emerging writer. Four years after their first encounter, Jack’s parents (played by Bairbre Ní Chaoimh and Martin Maguire) are coming from Ireland to spend Christmas with their son and his boyfriend, who they haven’t met yet. Being a traditional Irish family, it’s not easy for them to accept that their own son is gay. Naturally, both Jack and Bradley are very worried about “meeting the parents”. All’s set for the night before Christmas. The parents are on their way from the airport. Jack’s friend Charlie (played by Siobhán Cullen) and her new boyfriend Dean (played by Jamie O’Neill) also came in to say “Merry Christmas”. Champagne on the table, shepherd’s pie in the oven, the stockings waiting to be filled in with presents…

In a space of just over an hour we witness how emotions can take over and words can destroy a family, relationships, friendships… How easy it is sometimes to put ourselves first and forget that other people might have their own feelings and reasons, too. How easy it is to hurt someone. How easy it is to hurt someone, when you didn’t mean it.

The beauty of Our Island is that the set is the only cosy and comforting thing there. It’s not one of those play where “all is well that ends well”. It doesn’t give you all the straight answers, but it does give you hope. This play offers you a an invaluable opportunity to see things from aside. If you love and care for someone, if you really love and care for someone, you just have to give them space and time.

The brilliant acting, the diversity of characters and the  crazy mixture of energies on stage keep you glued to the action from the beginning until the very last word.

Our Island runs in Project Arts Center until September 13th. Catch it before it’s too late, for more info and to book: http://projectartscentre.ie/event/island/ 

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Filed under Mirari Productions, Our Island, Project Arts Center, Tiger Fringe Festival 2015