Belfast Theatre Group C21
The National Celtic Festival of Portarlington sent us some Irish angels. They were Belfast's C21 Theatre Group, and they came to Port Fairy to perform 'May the Road Rise Up', a play written by award-winning author Rosemary Jenkinson, performed by Christine Clare, directed by Stephen Kelly, and technically assisted by Aaron Cathcart (who is also an actor with the group, though not for this performance). This play was a fast and edgy one-person show about a life slipping through the cracks, and how bureaucratic department requirements further exacerbate and compound the difficulties placed on people without income and/or health issues. It sounds serious and depressing, but Rosemary has injected the play with as much dark humour as she can muster, and the energetic performance by Christine was gobsmacking, as she portrayed an array of different characters with the tiniest of adjustments to her demeanour and employed the incredibly clever set (of nothing more than cardboard boxes) to great effect. There was a hint of Trainspotting about it, and the Belfast accent took some getting used to, but this all just added to its impact. Wonderful. If I was rating things, I'd give it a full five stars. It's going to be on in Portarlington as part of the National Celtic Festival this coming weekend (7-10 June).
This play reminded me of an article which was featured in Meanjin last year, 'What I learned about poverty' by Jane Gilmour.