A charming and moving piece with some stunning Irish dance.
Martin first appears in an enormous Goldilocks-like wig of yellow curls and wearing a bright red Irish dance dress embroidered with gold Celtic designs. She flashes the audience a beaming smile as she unpacks her wooden chest, taking out a microphone and stand before setting them up and proceeding to dance on top of the box.
She then takes other objects out of the chest, undresses down to her underwear, takes off her wig to reveal a brown Afro and gradually unpeels her own psyche and history. The continual stop-start of this, as she puts stuff away or takes other stuff out, undresses or dresses up again, rather slows the piece down but this is more than made up for by the darkening mood that is created by her reminiscences or confessions. It’s clear, if you’re born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire you have to be ‘hard’.
Taking on the persona of her mother, she puts on a grey, figure-hugging, floaty dress, and the piece becomes even more anguished. It is not clear what the back story is but you don’t need to know the details. Keira Martin successfully manipulates the audience’s emotions, and each time a more harrowing episode ends, there’s a beaming smile. This is both a charming and moving piece with some stunning Irish dance.