Subscriber OnlyStage

The Spin review: Tense two-hander balances social comedy with emotional heft

Dublin Fringe Festival 2022: This Corcadorca production finds a singular mechanism for telling its unsettling story

The Spin

Cube, Project Arts Centre

There is an enormous amount of empty space in this purgative two-hander by Eimear Reilly. A few aloft variations aside, the actors, directed by Pat Kiernan, remain seated at either end of the sparse stage, looking directly at one another. Joanna (Aisling Kearns, energised), recently split from her boyfriend, is here to talk through traumas that stretch back to a borderline-macabre childhood. Hearing how she was forced to shoulder a tragedy that preceded her birth, no reasonable person could frown at her current emotional volatility.

Fiona (Anna Healy, stoic) is coded as psychoanalyst but also takes on the role of ghost, conscience and spiritual salve. It’s a cunning construction that invites Kearns — the play is essentially a monologue accompanied by curt footnotes — to fill the gaping space with a busy narrative that swerves from comedy through angst to a satisfactory, and surprisingly hopeful, late catharsis. She proves up to the challenge. The text is sometimes a touch overwrought but always gripping and psychologically honest.

Runs at Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2, until Saturday, September 24th, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist