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No One Is Coming

Review: No One Is Coming, Riverside Studios

Provocative new drama No One Is Coming is a combination of Irish folklore, myth, storytelling and anecdotes, created and performed by Sinéad O’Brien. Solo theatre is always an extremely tough job for performers; there are no breaks, no rest and the actor’s attention is always – or at least always should be – on the audience. But O’Brien has crafted a captivating 50 minute piece that is as fascinating and engaging as it is heartfelt and powerful. The text, formed terrifically, flows well through the varying stories and anecdotes, and the timeline is clear. When we hear the folklore…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

A brilliant combination of Irish folklore and storytelling. Sinéad O'Brien is a gifted and proficient teller of tales.

User Rating: 4.08 ( 4 votes)

Provocative new drama No One Is Coming is a combination of Irish folklore, myth, storytelling and anecdotes, created and performed by Sinéad O’Brien. Solo theatre is always an extremely tough job for performers; there are no breaks, no rest and the actor’s attention is always – or at least always should be – on the audience. But O’Brien has crafted a captivating 50 minute piece that is as fascinating and engaging as it is heartfelt and powerful.

The text, formed terrifically, flows well through the varying stories and anecdotes, and the timeline is clear. When we hear the folklore and myths, O’Brien doubles down on the endearing nature of her performance: we are hooked on these stories, and the characters within them.

O’Brien begins the show by setting the scene and getting the audience up to speed with more recent events. Her performance is calm and assured – tremendous skills for any actor to have, but especially one performing alone. She holds the audience’s attention well through both stillness and gesture. This is a discreet production with a single actor, one chair and zero props or set. The lighting changes are simple; rare yet very effective and fundamental to the overall tone of the storytelling.

The content of these stories is weighty, hard-hitting and could have become too heavy or dark for the audience, but O’Brien keeps our spirits up with some amusing asides and jokes. Importantly this doesn’t deter from the seriousness of the situations or minimise the impact that the tales have on us as spectators.

Throughout the 50 minute performance it is within the recurring tales of Irish folklore and myths that O’Briens’ skill set and connection with the audience are most prominent. Some of the tales are rather long and when missing visual action on stage or some audio stimulation, it might be easy for the onlooker to become lost in their own imagination and attention to drift. These moments occur very sparingly and O’Brien is always able to get us back onside through her incredible mastery of storytelling.

No One Is Coming combines interesting and authentic stories with magical folklore and myth. It is a brilliant combination of the two, tied together impressively in an accomplished performance by the play’s gifted creator.

Created and Performed by: Sinéad O’Brien
Supported by: Octopus Soup Theatre and the Aidan Stark Company
Directed by: Sahand Sahebdivani

About Aaron-Lee Eyles

Aaron-Lee is an actor, writer and director based in West London. They are passionate about diverse and innovative small-scale theatre. Aaron has had plays performed at The Cockpit, Bread and Roses and Hen and Chickens Theatre. He cannot wait to get started on his next project. Aaron-Lee is represented by Birdston Talent Management.
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