Exile on Benburb Street

Anu’s immersive snapshot of a young emigrant has an authentic ring


Protest: Incitement

National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History


The impact of emigration is the none-too-subtle theme of this immersive piece in Anu’s Thirteen strand, but what it lacks in nuance it makes up for in rawly rendered authenticity. A young man (Eric O’Brien) greets the audience at Museum Luas stop and invites them to join him before he leaves for England. As he saunters down towards Heuston Station, he chats idly: the nearest thing to a conventional monologue comes when he stops at Croppies Acre Memorial Park. There, he delievers a broadside against apathy – including references to the mid-week protest on O’Connell Bridge – which rings true in its understated rage and inchoate resentments. By the time he boards the airport bus, an awkward but real bond has been established.

Co-devised by the impressive O’Brien, the piece posits a particularly negative view of emigration – many people may actually want to expand their horizons – but it captures the desolation of departure for those forced to leave.

Ends Sept 21