Two Sore Legs (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

Two Sore Legs

Credit: Elaine Hill

Powerfully acted one-woman biography of Belfast mother to six children

Playwright Brenda Murphy’s personal one-woman show tells the story of her mother Bridie, an Irish Catholic who had six children to a local married man with his own family. Beginning with her funeral, we're given a humorous glimpse of the slightly eccentric woman she had become, taking her granddaughter to a funeral parlour where she pays for a fancy oak coffin and several cars in cash, before flashing back to the day she met Liam, and the path her life took as a result.

Solo performer Maria Connolly is an accomplished actor, recreating a cast of distinct characters from Bridie’s grumpy father and kind mother to the wider Belfast community of sneering gossips and interfering priests. Dramatic family scenes unfurl with all the tension and emotion of an ensemble cast. The script is beautifully crafted, in turns funny and moving, as it artfully blends storytelling, character acting and short bursts of song.

While the pace drops slightly in the latter half, there is still plenty of heartache to come and emotions run high until the end. Two Sore Legs is a touching tribute to Murphy’s mother's personality – a warm, caring, hard working woman who lived an extraordinary life in an oppressive society and never apologised for it.

Assembly George Square Studios, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 17, 24), 12.35pm, £10–£13.

Two Sore Legs

  • 4 stars

Green Shoot Productions Set in Belfast, Brenda Murphy's autobiographical play, tells the amazing story of her mother, Bridie who had six children to a married man who lived with his own family a few streets away. The play explores the consequences of this extraordinary family arrangement. From Bridie's carefree days as a…