And the Rope Still Tugging Her Feet
Powerful and blackly comic one-woman-show about 1980s Ireland
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).