And the Rope Still Tugging Her Feet (4 stars)

Powerful and blackly comic one-woman-show about 1980s Ireland


This article is from 2016.

And the Rope Still Tugging Her Feet

Set against the backdrop of Tralee, Country Kerry, writer and performer Caroline Burns Cooke's tale depicts twenty-four-year-old Leanne Gray, a woman whose dreams are inhabited by the great romances of literature. Her waking life is spent in public examination, her mind crushed by society's gender contradictions.

This one-woman-show, directed by Colin Watkeys, packs a darkly comic punch, with a magnetic central performance full of grace, panache, and wit. Cooke's natural ease and power as a storyteller rings throughout, as she inhabits the small town familiarity that beckons the audience into Leanne's childhood days learning to imitate the romances of Russian literature.

Cooke embodies several characters – notably radical feminist Kate, who has a sharp line in ferocious quips – and hits home with a personal, incisive take on the gender politics of Ireland. Plunging deeper into heartache, the heroine has a tragic grandeur, even as the detail of an oppressive society reveals its petty core.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 29 Aug (not 22), 12:15pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

And the Rope Still Tugging Her Feet

  • 4 stars

Face to Face Festival Presents And the Rope Still Tugging Her Feet was inspired by 1984's Kerry Babies scandal. A dark, comic take on a time in Ireland when 'the most dangerous place to be was in a woman's womb' (Bishop Joseph Cassidy). Written and performed by award-winning writer and actress Caroline Burns Cooke…


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