Una McKevitt describes herself as a Theatre Maker and I went to see her new work at The Cube at The Project as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival, as I was so impressed earlier in the year by her play Victor and Gord at Kilkenny Arts Festival. It is good to see her work transform from a fringe slot to the mainstream and she did not disappoint me with her new work 565+.
It is a one-woman show based on a woman’s life and how she claims that going to see over 565 plus plays worked as a sort of psycho-therapy. McKevitt likes these monologue style pieces and there is a lot of structure in these at-face-value family stories.
Marie O’Rourke the performer is a working teacher who credits theatre with saving her life and her story so well craft by McKevitt has great resonance with an audience as she initially sits among them in the front row and talks to them and then moves onstage. The acting or artifice is minimal and the rambling story at times does catch the mood over sixty minutes but a technician onstage who operates equipment interjects in her story like a prompter and while this is a constructed thing it spoiled the illusion/allusion for me.
But I must say that McKevitt has originality the way she conceives and directs this set of stories and she can write, shape and make an audience have sympathy and empathy.
Since Kilkenny the impact is different but this is clearly a fine talent who will produce a major piece of theatre sooner rather than later, given the support The project have shown her.