Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sickle Moon Productions, 'Slippers': Mommie Dearest

New play Slippers softly squeaks by but how can it raise the stakes? 

Theatre Upstairs
Mar 25-Apr 5

I mostly enjoyed Slippers by Jeda de Brí and Finbarr Doyle, the first play as part of the Sickle Moon Productions residency at Theatre Upstairs.

The subject of compulsive hoarding, of the inability to discard objects of distress, is dealt with in this drama about two sisters sorting through the cluttered home of their just-deceased mother.

What's immediately striking is the set design, easily the most impressive I've seen in this venue. The wallpaper is peeling off the wall as the small performance area conforms to designer Aoife Fealy's realisation of a storage room chocked full of boxes. 

The form sustains as the constant introduction of props and visuals, combined with strong performances and smart dialogue, keeps us engaged. 

It succeeds in its subtlety, especially in Katie McCann's discreet reveal of a traumatised daughter. It's a shame then that it exaggerates towards the end, throwing at us wild provocations including a big description of the mother as a tyrant. It's too great a leap. 

When Slippers trod softly it engaged but once it felt heightened I didn't buy it. It felt like it needed more restraint in raising the stakes.

What did everybody else think?

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