Audience Review - Little Gem

March 20, 2015

Audience Member Carmel Hogan is back again with another fantastic review, this time for 'Little Gem' ...


We saw Little Gem at Draiocht on Friday, 13th March 2015. I know people say Friday 13th is an unlucky day, but for us, this year, it was an especially good one. 

The play is a beautifully crafted piece of writing. It incorporates humour (of the laughing out loud variety!), pathos (tears were shed), insight (Elaine Murphy knows how women think) and the mundanity of life. The three characters on stage in the play are superbly drawn. The off screen characters – stroke-ridden Gem, Ray, the drug addict, Paul – the Deb’s partner and on-off boyfriend, as well as the new Salsa partner/love interest, Neil, and the other transitory characters are all so well drawn that their absence from the stage is not noticed at all. 

Her decision to give the positive attitude to and experience of sex to Kay, the grandmother, was pure genius as so many younger people think sex was invented by their generation. We laughed till we cried at the introduction of Kermit – (I won’t go into any more detail as this aspect of the play really has to be experienced in order to get the full benefit. So find out where Little Gem is playing and book seats now!) Kay’s wisdom and generous spirit were inspirational and the fact that she still loved and cherished her husband was a delight. 

The youngest character, Amber, broke my heart. She thinks she’s so cool and so on top of it all. Whereas from my perspective, she was tragically overindulging in all sorts of ways which would greatly limit her future life. Life happened to her rather than her taking decisions on what she wanted from it. She had it all – she was beautiful, bright if not very intellectual – but unevolved – and despite the limitations, we see that she has a support network that would be the envy of many. So while the actress had terrific comic timing and created an unforgettable image of the young, chaotic life of Amber, she left a sadness in our hearts which lingers. 

Lorraine, her Mam and daughter of Kay, grabbed our hearts with her description of her obsessive irritation at work. We’ve all seen “The Wrecker” in shops, but Lorraine was the one who had to clear up the havoc after her. Her brittleness was so acute that even the superior “Suit” and “Woman from HR” saw through it to her vulnerability. Considering her life experience, Lorraine is a hero to actually get out of bed at all. While the descriptions of “Counselling” made us laugh, it also rang true and, thankfully, Lorraine really tried to follow the recommendations and “do something nice for herself”. This led her through the Salsa night to a whole new positive experience of a man who actually cared about her and despite angst, saw a woman who blossomed like a flower when loved. The “sex scene” made us wince through our laughter as anyone will know who has had a relationship end and has to think about “being with someone new”.

Elaine Murphy’s play is sharp, funny and thought provoking. The casting was so appropriate that the characters of Amber, Lorraine and Kay came to life in front of us. Draiocht is an excellent venue as despite its capacity, everyone is close enough to the stage to see the expressions on the faces and to hear the voices without excessive amplification. 

Once again, Draiocht’s impeccable record of excellent theatre production remains unbroken! 

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By Draíocht. Tags: Audience Reviews, Theatre,

Audience Review - The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly

March 7, 2015

Audience Member Carmel Hogan is back again with another fantastic review, this time for 'The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly' by Theatre Lovett.

The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly

A review

On 28th February 2015, I had the pleasure of bringing my daughter and two granddaughters (aged 5 and 7) to The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly.

It was a delightful and highly innovative show. Louis Lovett who perform this one man show, engaged beautifully with the children AND adults in the audience.  He entranced and captivated us all. We were totally with him in his journey as Peggy O’Hegarty. There was even panto-like enthusiasm in the responses to the various questions s/he asked. The serial repetition of sequences – such as breakfast – was perfect as it led the children to predict what would come next and be charmed when they were correct or tickled when they were not.  The story line shows humour, pathos, tragedy and in the end, the overcoming of huge challenges.  Just the kind of narrative to appeal to children.  And we adults loved it too.

The set was clever and the way it was incrementally revealed added to its magic.  How something so innately simple could have such a sophisticated impact is still a wonder to me.  Each piece fitted beautifully into the next and as it changed, we all moved from being with Peggy at home to the van to the deserted city, to the floundering ship with ease.  The use of red lighting for the “bloody” scene was pure genius and highly effective. 

The show is beautifully written by Finegan Kruckemeyer and from start to finish a success. It engaged our two little ladies to the degree that although the elder child was evidently brewing something, she wouldn’t miss a moment.  Once we left the theatre, it was clear she was unwell and she spent the rest of the weekend in bed. However, she hung on valiantly till the very end before she expressed any distress. 

Once again, a big Thank You to Draiocht for presenting this wonderful show and to all those involved for the super production.


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By Draíocht. Tags: Audience Reviews, Theatre,

Underneath - An Audience Review

February 23, 2015

Audience Member Carmel Hogan had such a fantastic time at 'Underneath' last week, she wrote us this wonderful review! Too good not to share!
'Underneath' by Fishamble: The New Play Company is currently touring Ireland ... read more ... here ... 

"We saw an amazing production on Valentine’s night. It was our first visit to Draíocht, but it will definitely not be our last – the theatre is a great facility and a real hidden gem. Even though we’d never been there before, it’s obviously well reputed as there was a full house and from the conversations overheard in the foyer, for many of the audience a visit to Draíocht was a regular event.

UNDERNEATH, written and performed by Pat Kinevane, is a work of genius. The fact that he can play a woman and be totally believable is a testament to his talent in both writing and acting. The atmosphere moved from poignant to funny, from spine chilling to close to the bone contemporaneous humour in the blink of an eye. The story held us from start to finish. We empathised with her and laughed with her, we cried and waited for the next line over and again. Pat Kinevane had us riveted to the stage for the entire hour and forty minutes he was on. His stage presence is great and his ability to engage his audience was a delight. 

If this is the calibre we can expect from Pat Kinevane, we will be watching to see when he is coming again. And if this is the standard performed at Draíocht, we will definitely be visiting again and soon. 

Thank you for such a wonderfully pleasurable night." 

Carmel Hogan
Draíocht Audience Member
14 February 2015

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By Draíocht. Tags: Audience Reviews, Theatre,