The play runs until August 22nd in Theatre Upstairs. Tues - Sat @7pm with matinees on Weds and Sats @ 1pm.
You can book via www.theatreupstairs.ie/book-now, by phoning 085 772 7375 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review # 1: The Librarian's Cellar. (By Caroline Farrell);
11 August 2015
Eloise, a timid and ladylike soul, is getting tired of being confronted by the male conquests of her more adventurous sister, Lulu. And though perhaps he might just be the fix they each need to move on, the last thing Eloise wants now is to meet Lulu's latest conquest...
A very powerful one-woman show, produced by Moonstone Productions, written and directed by Lindsay Sedgwick, and starringKaren Connell, the writing is powerful, the subject matter gripping, and the performance by Karen is winsome and compulsive. There are layers to be peeled, depths to be reached and meanings to make and all three are accomplished without unnecessary adornments and distracting props; all senses are focused as the world in which Eloise finds herself trapped unfolds...
This is the first time Lindsay has directed, and on writing the play, she explains that it came about when she originally brought a much shorter early draft to the Attic Studio Dublin for a night of audition pieces. 'Everyone was talking about it and it seemed there were as many questions about the two sisters as there was life in the characters. So I wrote a bit more...'
A brave and engaging piece of theatre, do yourself a favour and take some time to see it. Fried Eggs runs from Tuesday, 11th - 22nd August [Tuesday to Saturday, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday]
Review # 2: No More Workhorse (By Frank L) ;
12th August 2015
The set is just the back wall draped in a plain fabric and two metal chairs placed facing away from each other. Eloise (Karen Connell) sits on one of the chairs as the audience assembles. A ticking, clicking sound indicates the beginning. This sound is used subsequently and effectively to define the three different acts. When she stands, Connell reveals herself to be svelte and statuesque, accentuated by her long, knee-length, white shirt and bare feet. She is somewhat remote in appearance, unobtainable.
Eloise describes her relationship with her identical twin sister Lulu who is far more outgoing than she is. She smiles far more often. Smiling is an issue for Eloise as the mother had views about smiling. And then there is Dan who works in a chipper, who has hairy arms, and from whom Eloise orders three fried eggs.
In a finely written script, Connell brings to life each of the characters. Her technique is low key, voice rarely raised. She speaks each word with precision. She varies the pace. She allows the comedy and disappointments in the text to emerge naturally. She brings you into the world of Eloise, her likes, dislikes and her needs. They are not that unusual other than that they are complicated by the smiling presence of her identical twin sister, Lulu who dominates her life.
Although the piece is under an hour in duration, the combination of the quality of the text and the authoritative but calm delivery of it by Connell ensures that the world of Eloise is displayed in all of its fragile uncertainties. Connell, in her creation of Eloise, has created an empathetic individual who is to an extent an observer but also well capable of being a participant when the need arises. As a result she and Sedgwick have combined to create a piece of theatre of some moment.
13 August 2015
Just as the beautiful Theatre Upstairs closes its doors for the duration of the Dublin Fringe Festival’15, we are in for a real treat. The last piece of the season is surely going to be one of the most memorable ones. Moonestone Productions present the world premier of Fried Eggs written and directed by Lindsay Jane Sedgwick.
This slow-paced, deeply emotional and very organic play tells us a story of “two selves”. Lulu and Eloise are twin sisters… or at least, that’s what they want you to think, she even has a picture to prove it. The play is divided into three short pieces: first we meet Eloise, who, even though timid and socially awkward, is the rational one, the practical one, the good sister – fixer of all problems; in the second part we are introduced to Lulu. Lulu is the crazy one, the dark angel, the problem maker; the third and final part reunites the sisters together both physically and emotionally. Hint by hint by hint by the story unravels into a great childhood trauma.
Both Lulu and Eloise are portrayed by the undoubtedly very talented Karen Connell. The actress doesn’t act on stage; she simply let’s her character be there… and I don’t know whether it’s the genius of Lindsay Jane Sedgwick’s work or the way Connell embodied and presented to us her character. The play is extremely naturalistic, it makes you forget that there is an actress on stage and you are actually in a theatre. Connell and her emotions are so real and so human that one can’t help but feel empathy towards Eloise and Lulu. Every word she says, every movement she makes, every laugh, every cry, every change of mood is so organic and simply beautifully human. And just as the character herself prefers blue sky to black clouds, Connell as Eloise/Lulu herself converts into a sort of a human lantern that guides the audience through the dark to hope and the possibility of something better and brighter.
With the set consisting of two chairs and a white curtain, it really never ceases to amuse and amaze me how little a good performance requires. Build a set a big as a Roman coliseum but if the act is a bluff, nobody will even notice the entourage. Put a chair and a human being next to it, speaking from his or her very heart and the audience will follow you anywhere.
This season in Theatre Upstairs has been full of really different new pieces. It seems like the new writers tend to go for the challenging fast-paced productions (and god knows, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed most of them!) where the audience, let alone the actors, can barely breathe or reflect on what’s happening on stage. But sometimes it can be so rewarding to see a slow-paced show, in which it feels like the actor is communicating with you personally, you listen to their stories and, even though you might have nothing to say, you still have time to think, to follow, to breathe, to enjoy…
Fried Eggs runs in Theatre Upstairs till August 22nd. Catch it before it ends:http://www.theatreupstairs.ie/fried-eggs
Review # 4 : The Public Review
16th August 2015
16th August 2015
Writer: Lindsay Jane Sedgwick
Director: Lindsay Jane Sedgwick
Reviewer: David Keane
Eloise (Karen Connell) is the classic good girl, bordering on prim and proper. Her twin sister Lulu is brash and adventurous, the original good time had by all. Lulu’s exploits constantly return to harass the timid Eloise, who is usually left to pick up the pieces after Lulu’s had her fun. Presently, this fun takes the form of the hairy-armed guy with oddly beautiful fingernails who works at the local chipper.
In the first of three short acts, each heralded by a ticking clock, Eloise speaks about her sister, her speech dotted with humorous anecdotes but also with hints of darkness beneath the surface. The audience learns of Lulu’s adventures and of the sister’s mother, a force that was central to the girls’ lives. Similarly, the second act hears from Lulu, who is unaware of what has sister has just spoken of. Lulu relays her version of events, albeit in a more dramatic and vivacious manner than Eloise. Both roles are played by Connell in a casual and naturalistic way, who presents as a striking figure in a long white shirt on the stark stage.
Connell allows the story to flow without being forceful in any way, strengthened by Sedgwick’s direction. The storytelling can be a bit floral, with some of Eloise and Lulu’s speech being superfluous to the story itself however this does, at times, lend itself to the naturalistic feel of the piece. Connell’s portrayal of this monozygotic pair is broken up when she briefly, and hilariously, speaks the part of the local chip shop guy, who may or may not turn out to be Eloise and Lulu’s saviour.
Aoife Fealy’s simple set of two chairs, back to back, against a backdrop of drapes works well in tandem with Brian Murray’s functional lighting. Neither distracts from Connell’s performance and allows the story to unfold without any obvious reliance on additional sources.
In any tale of deeply connected characters with opposing traits, from The Great Gatsby to Fight Club (which are the same story in different eras), the first question that comes to mind will always be: are these characters one and the same. Fried Eggs doesn’t shy away from this, and as the story progresses embraces it. Sedgwick’s script plays with the fragility of the human psyche whilst also engaging the audience for its 60 minute running time. This is, beneath the surface, a complex tale of how we either consciously or unconsciously deal with trauma and the impact it can have on our lives.