Positive reception for Last Year at Absolut Fringe

Following on from a previous post, Last Year—a play in the Absolut Fringe Festival presently—performed by Limerick actress, Maeve McGrath has gotten positive reviews in the Irish Times and Irish Theatre Magazine.

The Gavin Kostick monologue “is a meditation of death from a variety of perspectives” and seen through the eyes of a ward sister of a nursing home it is often a relief at the end of a long life but what happens when she is faced with her own terrifying mortality?
Sara Keating writes in The Irish Times: “The end of Last Year is truly moving, as performer Maeve McGrath drops all defences and embraces her fate.” Although she did feel there were “a few too many strands to Kostick’s play”, the direction by Liam Halligan was praised, the “staging is simple, with music and projected interludes alerting us to the play’s shifting tone before the true nature of things is revealed”.

ITM’s review by Jesse Weaver had some small qualms with the play but added that “McGrath is able by the play’s end to effectively convey the emotional earthquake that Orlagh experiences in comprehending her own fleeting mortality”. Read the full review here.


There are two chances still to see the play at Bewley’s Café Theatre, Dublin at 1pm on Thursday September 22 and Friday 23. It also features an original score by Eleanor McEvoy.

Last Year is a ‘Show in a Bag’ production, which is an artist development initiative of Dublin Fringe Festival, Fishamble: The New Play Company and Irish Theatre Institute to resource theatre makers and actors.
Only five actors are chosen to take part every year and the playwright came to Limerick during the summer to meet local people and listen to their stories before starting work on the play.

At the Belltable Unfringed 2011, I saw Connected—a play devised for ‘Show in a Bag’. The full production was very innovative and funny; it was a highlight of the festival.
So hopefully, Maeve will go on to bring this piece to more audiences nationwide.

Tickets are €10. Book online at www.fringefest.com or 1850 FRINGE (1850 374 643).

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