Too many cracks in this eggsistential detective story

An absurd comedy offers a worthwhile study in isolation, but the plotting is haphazard

The Egg is a Lonely Hunter ★★★
Project Arts Centre

This monologue roves through a town so dreary, even the horses are expecting an apocalypse. The end seems neigh in writer-performer Hannah Mamalis’s new comedy, where she plays a shopkeeper with an irrational fear of eggs. A baseless phobia becomes an apt metaphor for an absurd world.

Channelling an eloquently deadpan Alan Rickman, Mamalis's performance finds existential dread in the dull and nauseating detritus of our lives. As her plot revolves around curious discoveries – a dead mother's notebook, a child gone missing – it gradually shows its colours as a detective mystery.

But some of the jokes, surreal as they are, tend to distract from the narrative. Director Jeda de Brí’s production tries to hold in check a worthwhile study in isolation, with John Gunning’s lucid lighting evoking panic attacks and anxiety dreams. The plotting, though, remains haphazard. For an audience to keep guessing, they require more vivid clues.

Runs until September 17th

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