Pros: The positive ending note makes up for a gruesome tale.
Cons: Some of the background sound effects appeared to be coming from outside and were distracting.
Drenched in her own bodily fluids, 34-year old Brenda is wandering the streets of Cork, visiting familiar places where she is no longer welcome.
The previous night her best friend Veronica took her out – once again – on a vodka-fuelled bash, trying to help her get over her ex-girlfriend Olivia. Singing loud and dancing on the tables until 3am seems to be the best antidote, the disco lights flashing and the memories blurring.
The day after, though, the return to reality is agonising, as Brenda wakes up on Olivia’s doorstep, unsure of how she got there. She tries to piece together the previous night’s events, aimlessly walking in search of some relief from the aching. We then realise that her breakup isn’t recent and that she’s been breeding a sick obsession for this woman that now refuses to have any interaction with her.
When her Catholic family rejected her for being queer, Brenda turned to her bestie Veronica, who became her linchpin and her only family. She’s always been there to get her out of trouble and protect her when things became unbearable. Together they discovered homosexuality and grappled with life in a city where low-earnings and a narrow mentality result in a complete lack of opportunities.
Set in 1998, in one of Ireland’s roughest urban developments, Karen Cogan’s new one-hander is crude, moved by raw feelings and packed with gruesome pictures. Her stage presence is noncommittal, showing all the pain of standing in front of us.
As if to create a voluntary contrast, the writing is sharp and witty. With Brenda we laugh and suffer, reacting to her blunt observations and self-deprecating remarks. Her well-earned empathy makes us genuinely feel for this vulnerable woman, who can’t stop striving for love.
Co-produced by Soho Theatre, this play will travel to London in late September 2018.
Written and Performed by: Karen Cogan
Directed by: Oonagh Murphy
Producer: Soho Theatre and Fishamble
Booking Until: 26 August 2018
Box Office: 0131 623 3030
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/drip-feed