I Heart Alice Heart I

 

Peacock Theatre, Dublin Previews Jan 30-31, Opens Feb 1-18 8pm (Sat mat 2.30pm) 13-25 01-8787222 abbeytheatre.ie

What does a playwright see in documentary theatre? For her first play, Conroy, an actor of considerable experience (she’s up for an Irish Times Theatre award for her one- person play, The Eternal Rising of the Sun) applied creativity and consideration to the practice of a documentarian sneak.

Two women in their 60s are spotted exchanging a kiss in a Dublin shopping centre and are persuaded to share their story in detail – “the more mundane the better”.

That’s a rather arch joke in a very funny production, nestled into an experience that is considerably more heartening, one that exposes the grammar of documentary theatre – the found materials and plot diagrams, shared photographs and baked goods, recited and extemporised speech – but is more artfully aware of the politics of exposing two lives to a paying audience. You may anticipate Conroy’s conclusion, but nothing diminishes her effect.

When it comes to such extraordinary, quiet stories of love and support, there has rarely been a truer word spoken.

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