ED2015 4/5 Reviews ED2015 Theatre Reviews

A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing (Corn Exchange)

By | Published on Friday 28 August 2015

A Girl is a Half Formed Thing

Sexual abuse, parental contempt, violence, religious guilt, disease: it’s harrowing stuff. And, frankly, well-trodden territory for Irish literature. But in Annie Ryan’s adaptation of Eimear McBride’s 2013 novel, it’s elevated to mesmerising – and thoroughly disquieting – poetry. A fragmented interior monologue of trauma and tragedy, the show follows an unnamed narrator from birth to early adulthood. We see the cruelties of her unhappy mother. We meet the uncle who rapes her. We grow close to her terminally ill brother. Dressed in plaid pyjama bottoms and a baggy t-shirt, on a bare and simply lit stage, Aoife Duffin is by turns vulnerable and forceful. Amazingly, she presents each brutal moment with compassion, even if only the barest shred. It’s a shattering performance.

Traverse Theatre, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Rebecca Jacobson]