Leaving Home Party

A young woman who’s spent her entire life in Limerick, Ireland wishes to leave home and explore the world. Her destinations are Glasgow and then Edinburgh. This one-woman show, written and performed by Catherine Ireton with live musical accompaniment by Ignacio Agrimbau, is a musical storytelling about self-realisation and a search for identity.

A youthful angst that runs through much of the show and the phrase ‘I don’t belong here’ becomes a frequent refrain.

Although the show centres around leaving home with a thirst for the extraordinary, the majority of the stories are simply too banal to make the performance interesting. Ireton tells a story about having to rush through the airport, makes some observations about linguistic and cultural differences in Glasgow (‘dinner’ is ‘tea’, ‘college’ is ‘university’, there are four flavours of Monster Munch) and sings a song about the anxiety resulting from buying an iPhone. The most distinct problem in the show is a lack of specificity in the stories. Even when Ireton describes her grandmother’s adventures as a source of inspiration, she goes no further than singing a list of countries her grandmother travelled to.

A youthful angst that runs through much of the show and the phrase ‘I don’t belong here’ becomes a frequent refrain. But, I couldn’t help but feel that most of her sentiments are too familiar to anyone past their teenage years. Most of us have felt, at one point or another, that we possess a meaningful identity that’s waiting to be discovered and that if we only went out into the world we’d find it. Ireton’s text doesn’t quite manage to press these sentiments past cliched remarks.


Ireton is a fine singer and there are some interesting instruments used on stage. But, none of the songs stands out musically and indeed most of the songs sound too much like recitatives. Overall, this show about hope, disappointment, leaving home and coming full circle doesn’t quite manage to take off in a gripping way.

Reviews by Kyung Oh

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Catherine never left home. On a whim and a promise she took a one-way Ryanair flight to Gatwick in 2005. Now she’s got a flat, a Tesco clubcard and a shared pot plant in a country that was never meant to be home. Tonight she's having a party to mark all those tiny moments of letting go. Leaving Home Party is a story complete with cocktail sausages and songs about finding your place in the world.