Passing through

Fact and fiction blur together in Porous, the third part of Anu’s Thirteen project. Can its artifice inspire real action?

Thirteen: Porous

2 Scarlet Row


The title says it all: there is a tendency in Anu's best work to leave the barrier between fiction and reality completely permeable, where art bleeds steadily into life. Gradually that uncertainty is dispelled in Porous, though, by an absorbing performance from Catriona Ennis as Sasha, a recently laid-off beautician who has brought us into her former place of employment.


Although Ennis gives the perfect impression of a comically, then poignantly, harried young woman, amiably scatty but artfully alive to any incongruities ("Have you ever seen a carpet in a beauty salon?"), the artifice takes over. An elegantly crafted story of responsibility and loosening stability draws attention to more writerly conceits (where unemployment and "madness" are conditions without structure). That matters because, with an abrupt reference to Rosie Hackett and several recent public layoffs, Sasha urges us towards protest. On my viewing, everybody played along – bar one honest soul ("You're what's wrong with this country"). Late that night, Sasha made contact to remind me of my solidarity with labour. I guiltily demurred . . . I had work in the morning.

Until Sept 21

Peter Crawley

Peter Crawley

Peter Crawley, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about theatre, television and other aspects of culture