Pinching For My Soul | The Focus Theatre
Review by: Caomhan Keane
Title: Pinching for My Soul
Venue: The Focus Theatre
Company: Eala Productions
Director: Blanche McIntyre
Writer: Elizabeth Moynihan
Actors: Emma Colohan, Geraldine Plunkett and Seun Shote
Nutshell: Three interlocking monologues about shop lifting that take on a meta-theatrical twist
The Good: The wonderful imagery contained within the writing
The Bad: It's intentions are unclear
Star Rating: 2.5/5
Caomhan's Full Review:
Elizabeth Moynihan's Pinching for My Soul shares a lot of traits with its predecessors in the author's oeuvre, Slaughterhouse Swan and Tic. There is a delicious turn of phrase, an attempt to explore genre and some terrific ideas that are never properly executed. It's as if the playwright feels that by just putting a good idea on stage her job is done, but teamed with her taste for obfuscation and love of extreme plotting you are never quite sure if what you are looking at is supposed to make you laugh.
Pinching is a tale of three parts. The first is the best executed. Introducing her three characters through fast, interlocked monologues, we discover that they are linked by the thrill of the chase. Brona (Plunkett) and Shania (Coolahan) are shoplifters from two very different worlds, Chike (Shote) is the cat to their mouse, the security guard at Diva, the department store where they both go on the rob. Shania to feed her habit and keep her mother from forcing her to sell herself; Brona to fill in the void left by a high powered husband who turns his back on her in bed. Both get a kick from their actions and Chike gets inspiration for the book he's writing, but a feeling that society has left them behind unites all three
Moynihan finds poetry in the drudgery of the shop floor while director Blanche McIntyre keeps things moving at a brisk pace. But as we enter the second stage the plays structure begins to list as it becomes apparent that Brona and Shania are works of Chike's imagination, based on some "Foxrock Fanny" and a junkie who steal from his store. The monologues get longer, the speed of the handovers slackens and the characters become victims of the soap opera genre that Moynihan is parodying.
Finally the play strokes out in its final third as Chike's characters turn on him, criticising his portrayal of them and of women in general and although this brings some much needed life back into the piece there's a feeling that in pointing out the flaws contained within her own writing Moynihan is trying to avoid facing up to them. You are not really making a comment on a genre if all you do is ape it and then turn around and wink at the audience and say you were in on it all along. And you are not really adding anything to the theatrical realm when you borrow the form that has been used historically by Pirandello and most recently by Arthur Riordan in the Performance Cooperation's Slattery's Sago Saga and doing nothing fresh with it.
The three performances were solid; Plunkett in particular, while Moynihan again showed that she was capable of showering her audience with some beautiful imagery. But her work suffers from a lack of dramatic impetus and would really benefit from the help of a dramaturg.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Wednesday 27th July 2011 | Theatre
No comments have been posted for this article yet. Be the first!
Log in to leave a comment
The opinions expressed here are those of the viewer and do not reflect those of Entertainment.ie. Entertainment.ie accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for their accuracy of content. Please contact us to report abusive content