City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Married to the Sea

By Lorraine McCann - Posted on 07 August 2008

Show details
Assembly Rooms
Dragonfly Theatre
Running time: 
Shona McCarthy (director and playwright)
Siobhan Donnellan, Fiachra O Dubhghaill, Carla Bredin

A new company, Dragonfly, bring to the Fringe a tender-hearted, if rather predictable, story about family breakdown and the wider consequences of societal change in an ancient Irish coastal community.

The central character is Jo, a young girl who longs to accompany the men on their fishing trips, but can't because women are considered bad luck on boats. So she has to stay at home, to look after her mother and her granny, while her father goes off to sea, and to adventures of an altogether more amorous kind as well.

It's always difficult casting adults to play children, and Siobhan Donnellan as Jo is almost too successful at portraying the wide-eyed innocence and falsetto chatter of the eight-year-old lead. Sporting vivid pink knee-socks and perky bunches in her hair, she seems to me to be too obviously imitating a child rather than playing this specific child's character. By contrast, however, I thought the stand-out actor in this small ensemble was Fiachra O Dubhghaill. He plays several roles, including a couple of women, with exceptional poise and is surely one to watch out for in future.

Touching on themes of loyalty and deception, and featuring some beautiful singing from the cast, this is a well-executed first production that perhaps just lacks that little bit of edge.

Times: Aug 1-25, 13:30 (no show Aug 11 or 18)