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.