The Road to Skibbereen
  • By Kyung Oh
  • |
  • 20th Aug 2014
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Lianna is a young woman with learning disabilities. Ever since her father died three years ago, her mother has had the full-on task of taking care of her by herself. The show opens with Lianna throwing a tantrum, while her mother tries to coax her into getting ready for her first day at a local college, where she is to take drama classes.

It is an extremely compelling depiction of the strength of a beautiful character who finds her path to self-actualisation in spite of her disability.

The show alternates between scenes set at Lianna’s home with her mother and the ones set in the drama classes at college. The drama class discuss Macbeth together and rehearse for an upcoming performance. The supporting cast that play Lianna’s classmates and her teacher put on an excellent performance. The classmates show a lovable joy for acting and a genuine, child-like curiosity for the text of Macbeth, while the teacher is charming, patient and adept at leading the class discussions to fruitful grounds. As the play progresses, Lianna brings in what she has seen from her relationship with her mother into making astute observations of Lady Macbeth.

I cannot give enough praise to Jessica Corcoran, playing the role of Lianna. She perfectly portrays the transformation (rendered so brilliantly by the script) from self-centred and stubborn at first, to becoming a young woman full of courage, who resolves to take care of her mother by herself. It is incredibly powerful to see her find her feet and learn to make friends that she cares for and trusts as well as realising her talents as an actress. Meanwhile, she also struggles with the guilt that she might have exhausted her mother into falling into illness. Angela Walsh - who has written the script - also deserves ample praise for her role as Lianna’s mother. Full of concern for her disabled daughter, she is tired but tries as best as she can; once she realises that her mind has begun to falter, the way she copes and the dissolution of her character are heartbreaking to watch.

It is a very powerful script, which has won the award for best production at the Write Now Festival. It is an extremely compelling depiction of the strength of a beautiful character who finds her path to self-actualisation in spite of her disability. One of the later scenes with the mother’s letter was especially moving - I was in tears, sobbing by the end, and so were the majority of the audience members.

Reviews by Kyung Oh

Underbelly, Cowgate

Before Us

Traverse Theatre

Men in the Cities

Pleasance Courtyard

Years to the Day

theSpace on Niddry St

Can't Stay Away!


Snoutology for Beginners

C venues - C

The Road to Skibbereen


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

One of six scripts selected as finalists in Liverpool's prestigious Write Now Festival 2013. The festival involved two developmental performances for which the play was awarded the prize for Best Production. Written by actress Angela Walsh (Eileen in Distant Voices, Still Lives, Carol Salter in Brookside), who also stars in the show, this is a bittersweet comedy/drama about learning to sing and get on a bus; about Shakespeare and real chips; about the enduring love between a mother and her daughter and about how that changes when they find their roles reversed.

Most Popular See More


From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets