Writers’ Room: Home
This very short play by Kate Roche is a gently entertaining, yet deeply insightful look at a one-sided mother-daughter bond, played out when Evelyn, the mother, instructs her two children to go along with her plans to be buried in Cork, Ireland, when she dies. The children protest at the administrative hurdles to be overcome. Despite having left the country as a young girl and having lived in rural England for most of her life, Evelyn’s plans are non-negotiable.
While Irvine, the son, played by Joshua Picton, is willing to lie and promise cooperation that he knows will not materialise, Tessa, played by Kate Pemberton, tries to understand the deeper motivations of her mother and, in so doing, the reasons why their bond is not what she needs it to be.
Evelyn is majestic in her demeanour of a mother who is quietly tired of putting her daughter’s needy expectations before her own preferences and wants, fighting for her right not to be buried just round the corner so as to console her adult daughter even after her own death; “Get a grip, Tessa, you have children of your own now”.
Tessa cannot bring herself to speak of her mother’s death and they find a minimal common ground when they agree that, to everyone but a few close friends, the version circulated will be that Evelyn has only “gone to Ireland”.
The script flows easily and the direction by Simona Hughes finds sparks of fun in the children’s banter so the tone is never sombre or morbid. In the end, however, we are not entirely sure that Evelyn will ultimately get her way and be buried in Ireland.
When you Go To Ireland is playing as part of a series of shorts as part of Writers’ Room: Home. The other plays are An IQ Test for my Birthday, Homemakers and Difficult to Describe, Understand or Measure.
Written by: Kate Roche
Directed by: Simona Hughes
Produced by: Writers’ Room, Tower Theatre
Writers’ Room: Home plays at Tower Theatre until 16 December. Further information can be found here.