My final (I hope!) evaluation of a piece, part of the 3rd year directors season playing at St Mary’s University College, which has now finished folks, is a play by Rebecca Prichard. The playwright is not incredibly famous, I could find very little information on Prichard, however, with certain acclaim to her third play Yard Gal – Prichard won the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright 1998.
This tale of trouble and strife between an equally dubbed pair Boo (Stefanie Di Rubbo) and Marie (Monsay Whitney) is highly energetic, fast paced and aptly directed Steph O’Driscoll. In the performance, the audience are slung around a journey of gang rivalries and fights, drugs use and traffic, illegitimate childbirth and a blow-job bribery of a local policeman – a trully unforgettable moment. The relationship between Boo and Marie takes twists and turns as the audience witness the trials and tribulations of these everyday lives on a Hackney estate. With the ultimate summation of hope through tragedy, it is tough to find sympathy with Prichard’s characters, as much as Di Rubbo and Whitney give a tireless performance.
The language is perhaps the most significant part of the play, in which Prichard manages to capture every essence of a world so far away from the Southwest suburbs it is performed in. However, is it a world too far? I happen to know that one past performance included a glossary in the program for its patrons to grasp some kind of understanding. Here, it is not at all necessary, as the vivid imagery created by only a couple of black stools and the intensely motivated performances is all you need to understand this un-regimented plot-line.
Overall, the feeling created by this clear and simple piece is complimented by some very nice moments, devised by O’Driscoll, that the audience can find great connection with – although not an incredible amount of universality, something lacking in the text. It was genuinely entertaining and extremely watchable for the creative eye in which both amounted to a world not so far away.