Review: Eating Seals and Seagulls Eggs

This show, exploring the life of Peig Sayers, pushes the limits of decency to breaking point

Eating Seals and Seagulls’ Eggs Project Cube HHH

Busting taboos is what the Fringe is all about, but such is the transgressive conceit of this multimedia piece that it stretches the limits of decency to breaking point, as writer and actor Caitríona Ní Mhurchú sets out to rehabilitate that beshawled scourge of Leaving Cert students: Peig Sayers.

Against a backdrop of striking visuals, Ní Mhurchú enters the character to explore the life and reputation of the woman whose calamity-ridden account of her life on the Blasket Islands has been much mocked for 70 years. Fellow performer Louise Lewis helps interweave the work with acute autobiographical snippets and sharp observations on attitudes to the Irish language. Meanwhile, shards of earthy humour and real tragedy help reclaim Sayers as a real and complex person.

Though the show’s length and heightened style occasionally drag, it’s an absorbing meditation on oral traditions that recasts Peig in a thought-provoking manner. Ends September 20

Mick Heaney

Mick Heaney

Mick Heaney is a radio columnist for The Irish Times and a regular contributor of Culture articles