Hannah, a 15 year old girl, dies giving birth in a grotto. Sporting a red satchel and scrunchie, she is a girl who is struggling not only with pregnancy, but also against the prying eyes of a small rural village, the weight of her Catholic upbringing and mounting schoolwork.
ne audience member had already summed it up perfectly for me directly after the performance by simply saying: “that was stunning”
“Mary and Me is my first play”, begins the note from Kelleher in the programme. No doubt it’s many writers’ dream to have their first play be as good as this. To write an hour-long play is no easy feat; to write and star in said play is even harder, and Kelleher pulls it off perfectly. Not only is she a brilliant performer, whose commanding energy fills the space, but she is also an exceptionally talented writer, having penned a script with an abundance of character that builds a world around Hannah so vividly it could succeed in any space. The piece plays out like an extended confession to a statue of Mary and, as such, affords a great deal of space to build, not only a solid and endearing character in Hannah from the first line, but a whole cast of other characters as well.
Engaging from the offset, Mary and Me was a vivid and powerful piece with presence and heart told by a wonderful storyteller and performer, made even more poignant for being based on a true story. If this review could only be one line, one audience member had already summed it up perfectly for me directly after the performance by simply saying: “that was stunning”.