City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

My Name is Saoirse, Assembly Hall, Festival Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 08 August 2015

Eva O'Connor promo image for My Name is Saoirse
Show details
Assembly Hall
Sunday's Child
Running time: 
Eva O'Connor (writer)
Eva O'Connor

A finely spooled teenage confessional.

Set in the ‘80s My Name is Saoirse is the story of a quiet, motherless teenager living in rural Ireland with her brother Brendan and broken hearted Da. Her best pal, the voluptuous and utterly gallus Siobhán Cahill is her polar opposite. Siobhán likes drinking the black stuff with the lads and is wise to the ways of the world. The naïve Saoirse prefers the neatness of joining patchwork squares but after a painful and loveless union with a local lad on cold lino, she finds herself prematurely pregnant.

Her name may mean ‘freedom’ but she is as hemmed in by her circumstances as the squares that make her quilt – no mother, no sisters, and so no female role models. On top of that, the chasm between her and her unlikely female friend is immense.

Stepping out from her sewing machine where a colourful quilt is in the making, Saoirse (Eva O'Connor) begins her story. In the intimate space where she is surrounded by old boxes, some suitcases with a group of old table lamps in the corner she is dressed in a modest skirt and high necked jumper with sensible shoes, like the good Catholic girl she is.

O'Connor delivers her beautifully crafted piece with her vulnerable heroine at the centre in a direct and naturalistic style that is utterly engaging throughout. She shifts effortlessly through the characters, nailing each one’s accent and mannerisms with the use of no more than remnants of cloth and her own impressive acting skills.

This is a flawless and accomplished piece of storytelling theatre that fully deserves the recognition it has received. Catch it if you can!

6-31 August (not 15) at 12.15 age recommend 12+