My Name is Saoirse

If I may be so bold, I'd like to suggest you do yourself two favours. Number one, buy a ticket to this show. And two, don't read a thing about it. Don't find out what it's about and just trust that what lies ahead of you will blow you away.

Eva O'Connor is a one woman show and powerhouse. She delivers a stellar performance that has the ability to render the coldest heart into a pile of goop. Having written this play herself based on events in her own life, My Name is Saoirse is moving, emotionally charged and so so engaging. It takes you on a roller-coaster of emotion. In the space of a single hour you will find yourself giggling at girly confessions, and in the next second holding your breath in the darkness behind the only pub in the village, only to find yourself laughing as if you too were on that hilltop in the shadow of the water tower, spinning in circles with your two best friends.

Set in the attic of her family's peach-coloured bungalow in rural Ireland in the 1980's, the fifteen year old character of Saoirse engages us in the goings on of her daily life. We hear about her brother Brendan's sporting achievements, her father bereft with grief, and her sassy best friend Siobhan, with her long ginger hair and a behind bigger even than her supersized personality.

Through the intertwined lives of these characters, we come to confront certain societal limitations that prove difficult to cross. Conservative Catholic Ireland is no picnic for a young girl in trouble.

O'Connor embodies a village of personas flawlessly, and with some might say a freakish ability to jump between personalities without missing a beat. In an instant, she can take on a unique tone of voice, such as the gravelly rasp of an old woman who has smoked too many cigarettes since her botched hip replacement.

This coming of age tale is a poignant and emotional exploration of grief, sexuality, anxiety and adolescence. It's delivered with incredible energy, and grips you by the heartstrings from start to finish.

★★★★½