Following It Is Good We Are Dreaming and Marmalade Row, LemonSoap productions will present Piglet on April 18th, which is described by its producers as being about obsession, violence, fish and chips, Jennifer Coolidge impressions, lost love, and what it is like to lose the life you’ve always dreamt of. I had the pleasure of seeing It Is Good We Are Dreaming last June and if Piglet is anything in comparison, it will be as thought-provoking as it will be entertaining. Written and directed by Ultan Pringle, and produced by Lisa McNally, LemonSoap productions have a knack, in my eyes, for humorous climactic performances.
“Unsurprisingly, the mention of Jennifer Coolidge was enough to intrigue me — I was also excited by the prospect of an all-female cast.”
Unsurprisingly, the mention of Jennifer Coolidge was enough to intrigue me — I was also excited by the prospect of an all-female cast. I am sure said impressions will be poignantly fulfilled. This production sees a woman called Mercy, performed by Lora Hartin, who returns home to Offaly to work in a fish and chip shop after having a breakdown in the middle of her gender studies class in Trinity. Chatting with Ultan Pringle and Lora Hartin, Pringle explains that we will get to see various perspectives on stage, all showcased through Mercy. Pringle and Hartin also talk about the tenderness of creating a person’s breakdown on stage. Hartin emphasises that instead of showcasing stereotypical displays of a spiral, they are staying as true to Mercy as they possibly can, and are trying to display an authentic lived experience.
It Is Good We Are Dreaming encapsulated family relationships with an emphasis on relatability in conversation and communication. Piglet promises to do the same; highlighting the extraordinary in the mundane, a speciality of LemonSoap that will no doubt bring Irish-specific experiences and motifs to the forefront of the performance. The explorations of Mercy’s unhealthy relationship with her ex-girlfriend, which translates to obsession, will be set alongside dynamics in friendships, where her two best friends — who abandoned her at the time of her breakdown — appear two years later in the chip shop. We will see issues played out on stage that are as universal as they are topical.
“Pringle advertises that Piglet’s display of experiences is uniquely Irish, making the intimacy of The New Theatre a fitting venue for its performance.”
Another topic is the loss of the life you had envisioned for yourself and expected to have. This concept is extremely important for many people, in particular young people. At a time when social media plays such an intrusive role in how many of us envision our future lives, I for one am looking forward to seeing Mercy’s other potential paths played out on stage. This will be most interesting, as various perspectives will be acted out. Pringle advertises that Piglet’s display of experiences is uniquely Irish, making the intimacy of The New Theatre a fitting venue for its performance.
The performance’s tense nature is encapsulated by this line from the play’s synopsis: “Clutching a piece of battered haddock tightly in one hand and a salt shaker in the other, Mercy Munroe vows there and then that the time is right to try and take her life back.” Performing alongside Hartin is fellow actor Sophie Lenglinger, with lighting design and photography by Owen Clarke, stage management by Jack Scott Shanley, composition and sound design by HK Ní Shioradái and costume design by Toni Bailey. All of the above will, without question, bring us an immersive and emotional performance.
Tickets can be purchased at The New Theatre’s website (newtheatre.com). The production will run until 22 April 2023, with the matinee on the 22nd. Students can grab tickets at €16 and an incentive of €10 each for a booking with a group of 10 is also available. Piglet, from my chat with Hartin and Pringle, encapsulates the traumas that young people face in Ireland today. An authentic story about Mercy, revenge, and redemption, it is a production not to be missed.