Donal O'Kelly's Brace: Fionnuala (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Donal O'Kelly's Brace: Fionnuala

A political monologue better in the telling

Ambrose needs to confess. Exhausted with an air of desperation, Ambrose takes his time working towards his confession, first speaking about past bad judgements but soon admitting to complicity in crimes, both at work and when he was at school. The more he confesses the darker Ambrose’s past deeds become.

Donal O’Kelly’s monologue is well-executed. It takes its time, almost moving at too slow a pace to engage the audience in the beginning. However, once Ambrose comes face-to-face with a force that demands the truth, the play quickens, slowly enrapturing the audience in its tale. While it does take its time, it manages to not only hit its mark but also haunt long after the curtain.

O’Kelly’s performance is better than his script, but his themes and intentions are so pure and heartfelt, and his performance so well-handled, that this is easily excused. His artistic drive comes from legitimate anger over current political and environmental events. If nothing else, the play drives enough curiosity within the audience to demand further research, as the best of political theatre should do.

Hill Street Theatre, 226 6522, until Aug 25, 8.15pm, £11-£12 (£9-£10)

Donal O'Kelly's Brace - Fionnuala and Skeffy

  • 3 stars

A bracing pair of new plays (alternate nights) by Irish writer-actor, Fringe First winner Donal O'Kelly. Fionnuala - provocative piece of bog magic realism set in the murky world of the Mayo gas project 'Cuts a swathe through Shell/State propaganda' (Hot Press). Skeffy - vivid pacey quest for the lost ideals of Irishman…