Kate is a 30-something woman in Belfast expecting her first child with her husband, Brendy. At the same time, Northern Ireland and its political parties have announced that peace is finally coming. Though Kate and her country should be looking forward, she is troubled by recurring abdominal pain and memories from her past that threaten the peace she has made for herself.
Written with deft humour, Mouthpiece is a sharp scalpel used to dissect the highly sensitive and nuanced issues of representation, consent, agency and the ongoing ignorance between the opposing ends of the class system.
There are guns everywhere in America. Real ones, and pictures of them, hidden and overtly displayed. This constant threat of violence gives the unnamed uni lecturer and mum in this monologue nightmares and anxiety attacks. She awaits the day when a male student takes issue with his grades, or the course content, or anything else that threatens his masculinity and barges into her office or classroom and guns her down.
Initially How to Disappear seems to be a new addition to the classic, British State-of- the-Nation plays in its searing critique of the government’s welfare policy. But Morna Pearson has great fun in turning the genre on its head with a twist that is so central to the play that I can’t avoid including spoilers.
Think about your parents, or a parental figure. How have they impacted who you are now? Whether positive or negative some mark will inevitably and irrevocably remain.
Now consider the effect of growing up in a religious home, specifically as the child of a minister. The stereotypes that come to mind are either that they’ll dutifully keep the faith, join the ministry or violently rebel, like Nietzsche proclaiming ‘God is dead’ or worse, put those oratory skills to use in the theatre. Performers, and children of reverends, Rob Drummond and Nicholas Bone seem to exist somewhere in between the stereotypes.
Grid Iron and the Traverse Theatre’s new co-production Jury Play is a play of two halves with rather mixed results. Based on Dr Jenny Scott’s research into jury members’ experiences and how to improve them, director Ben Harrison and writer, Dr Jenny Scott, have decided that the best way to bring these issues to life is to cast the audience as the jury in a fictional murder trial.