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).

Limerick represents at ABSOLUT Fringe 2011

The ABSOLUT Fringe festival will run from September 10 to 25 and aims to bring the best in cutting edge theatre, dance, comedy, music and all round spectacle to audiences this year. It’s a lively programme as always and the website is pretty brilliant so if you fancy doing something arty in the capital, it’ll make it easy for you to pick something good to go to.

You know I’m all about supporting local theatre practitioners so if you happen to be in The Big Schmoke on September 14, 17, 22 or 23 make sure you check out Limerick actress, Maeve McGrath, who will perform in Last Year by Gavin Kostick. It will be directed by Liam Halligan.

The plot sounds really interesting. When you grow old who will look after you? Who will mind your parents when you can no longer cope? Told through one woman’s working life in a Limerick Nursing Home where staff witness death and illness on a daily basis and maintain a brave face even in the most difficult circumstances. This is a life story. This is a nursing home story. The original score for Last Year will be composed by Eleanor McEvoy.

Maeve is the Artistic Director of locally-based, Sidhe Theatre Company. She has acted extensively in theatre and television credits include Fair City and Ballykissangel.

It’s 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. The play will be on at Bewley’s Cáfe Theatre at 1pm. Tickets are €10. Book online at www.fringefest.com or 1850 FRINGE (1850 374 643).