Saturday 20 October 2007

Help! - A Slight Review

Help! is a one act play devised by the abnormally artistic Tiernan clan. It is directed by stand-up comedian Tommy, a man of whom you may have heard. It stars his cousin, comedian and actor Eleanor Tiernan, and his sister, actor Niamh Tiernan. Events play out like so.

Eleanor is a stand up comedian who has just "died on her hole" at the prestigious Mullingar International Comedy Festival. The repercussion of this catastrophe for Eleanor would seem to be a total nervous breakdown... A breakdown that can only be stopped by the intervention of Niamh, Eleanor's alter ego/sinister subconscious/glorious idol. However, Eleanor has another gig tomorrow night so they best get busy.

'Busy' would certainly be a fitting adjective to describe Help! There is a lot going on in this single act. The intense insecurities and neuroses of the stage performer are deconstructed by both players, to hilarious effect. The mythic aura that envelopes Samuel Beckett is torn asunder by constant jibes at his oeuvre throughout. They still like him though... There is even time for a 10 minute comedy routine from Eleanor, during which the actor subsides and the stand up takes centre stage. A welcome mutation, as this woman is damn funny. That Jane Austen punchline had me in tears!

Seamless pacing, superb performances, (sometimes) weighty subject matter and perfect comic timing... Attending this play is a most worthwhile experience. Y'all.

Help! has just come to the end of a lunchtime run in The Ruby Room in The King's Head in Galway.

Be sure and give these a look:

The MySpace of Help!
The MySpace of Eleanor Tiernan
Eleanor Tiernan's Newsreader School (Balcony TV)

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