A ninety-minute monologue about a homeless person? Embrace it. Myra’s Story deserves to be the talk of the Fringe.
Myra’s Story deserves to be the talk of the Fringe.
Irish playwright Brian Foster walked past a homeless alcoholic begging in the street and turned his head away, pretending not to see or hear her. Unlike the rest of us, who have done just that so many times, he turned his feeling of guilt into what has turned out to be a spectacularly successful play full of humour and pathos about a middle-aged woman he named Myra McLaughlin, who was in that very situation.
The play opens on a bitterly cold December’s day in the Irish capital. Myra is funny, feisty, and foul-mouthed as she begs for her drink money from passers-by. She wasn’t always on the street. Like every human being, she had a life that brought her to where she is today. She was in love, she was married, she had a child, but for her it all went wrong, as it could for anyone, but for most it doesn’t.
Bringing Foster’s work to life is the accomplished Dublin actor Fíonna Hewitt-Twamley. As she unfolds Myra’s tragic tale, she vividly creates the characters who moulded her life, with a range of voices and physicality that gives them profound credibility. They are at times amusing, idiosyncratic, nasty, sympathetic, vengeful and always vulnerable. They are the real people who witnessed her demise and were unable to prevent it. Hewitt-Twamley captures them as vivid exemplars of humanity in a less-than-ideal world.
Brian Foster has said, “I’m sure the reason for the play’s success is the mix of hilarity and heartbreak. Everyone...can relate to the damaged character they see up on stage. My play allows them to look into Myra’s face. To stand in her grubby shoes. Smell her stale odours. Hear her voice”. Performing to a full house at the Spiegeltent Palais Du Variete, as the lights dimmed on Myra's final moments we rose to give a standing ovation to his outstanding play and the stunning performance from Hewitt-Twamley who has brought it to life. This is not to be missed.