Eating Seals and Seagulls' Eggs

Eating Seals and Seagulls’ Eggs is a poetic telling of Ireland's ‘most hated woman’ – Peig Sayers. It skilfully uses multimedia in the form of period-appropriate screens, radios and projections.

An enthralling journey through Peig’s life, exploring Irish folklore, storytelling tradition, tribalism and cultural homogenisation.

Caitríona Ní Mhurchú plays Peig as well as having conceived this piece. She is completely believable in the role, invoking this earthy, visceral portrayal of Peig with consistently strong acting. We find ourselves more or less on Peig’s side throughout the story due to Mhurchú’s charismatic performance. The moments of Gaelic interstrewn with the yarn-spinning only add to the storytelling and atmosphere. The story brings out the strong side of this character without overdoing it – a positive feminist strand coming through the piece without resorting to the simplicity of a plate-fed moral.

Louise Lewis plays the teller of Peig’s story and sets the historical context with the aid of the entrancing bank of old television sets and projector. She works well with Mhurchú to summon up the impression of Peig’s life and the life of the Blasket Islanders among whom she lived. Lewis occasionally loses the truthfulness of the storytelling, but is always quick to regain the initiative and bring us back in.

The piece is an enthralling journey through Peig’s life, exploring Irish folklore, storytelling tradition, tribalism and cultural homogenisation. At times it drags, but only for brief moments before the skill of the performers bring us back in. Well worth a watch for anyone interested in any of these subjects or just looking to be told a fascinating story by some accomplished artists.

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The Blurb

Eating Seals and Seagulls’ Eggs. Dublin Fringe sell-out. About Ireland's most hated woman. And being a fish out of water. In your own country. This is a show about nationality, language and loneliness, drawing on autobiography, archive and rare film footage. A poetic slice of documentary theatre. A taboo-busting multimedia tsunami from award-winning collaborators performer-writer Caitríona Ní Mhurchú and visual artist Adam Gibney with original sound from rocker collective Bird in Snow. 'This is a show of national interest. A great piece of work. I was mesmerised from start to finish' (Arena RTÉ Radio 1).

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