Ambitious debuts astound at PIPS showcase

Ellie McGonagle reviews the five plays put on by PIPS, DU Player’s programme for College’s theatrical newcomers

Michaelmas term has certainly been an eventful and action-packed semester in terms of Players Introductory Programme (PIPS) productions. The plays written and performed by members of PIPS are always of a tremendously high standard and this group of students certainly did not disappoint. The majority of these plays were written by Senior Freshmen students, however, for most of them this was their first time putting on their own performance. As we are all aware, sharing our own work with others can be vastly nerve-wrecking but there was absolutely no need for these students to panic; each play received high praise from every single audience member.

The first of five productions was English student, Sarah Hanna’s  “Tuesday”. This play, directed by Aisling Clarke and starring Orlaith Connolly, Mia O’Reilly and Eoin Potts follows the story of two youthful girls dealing with the gruelling trials associated with adolescence. There were elements of humour speckled throughout the play, however this was ultimately a tale of tribulation. This play was regarded highly by the audience and this was evident from the acclamation it received.

The second play of the night was “Moonless” written by Lauren O’Hare, directed by Matthew Talon and starring Doris Devries and Ella-Rose Millis. This drama dealt with the trauma affiliated with war. It was an immensely thought-provoking piece and of all the plays showcased was the one that left the biggest mark on me.

The third show of the night was “My Affair Ladies” written by fellow English student Maeve Redmond and directed by Aisling Clarke. It starred the talented cast of Sean Masterson, Phil Hettinger and Amy Ennis. From the beginning of the performance the audience was in tears – the witty dialogue had them going from the start. It was a well thought-out script.

“Backseat Driving” written by Megan Luddy and directed by Mae Leahy was easily one of the most entertaining shows of the night. We all have that one sober friend who becomes the designated driver on a night out and from my viewing of this play, it’s hard not to associate ourselves with at least one character in this narrative, but that may just be me! The play starred Elishka Barnes, Zaea Fitzgerald, Cian O’Sullivan, Eoin Fullston and Lorna Haydon and I can safely say that all members of this cast were outstanding.

Last but not least was “Goodmorning”, a dark comedy written and directed by English and film TSM student Grainne Quigley. This play was directed by Laura Hirsch and starred Serena Dundas, Sean Masterson and Ailbhe Owens. This was an exceedingly original piece, laced with comedic genius. All of those who acted in this production were astounding.

On a personal note, I was extremely moved at the talent these students displayed. As most of these plays were written by intimate friends of mine, I couldn’t help but feel proud of my friends. These are all hard-working, intelligent people who will continue on to do monumental things after college.

The showcase will be available to attend Thursday and Friday at 7pm. For more details, check the Facebook event here.