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No Tits & Plenty of Troubles at the Golden Goose Theatre

Set during the height of Duran Duran’s chart success, the dangers continue to be real for people living in Ireland during the Troubles, and the play isn’t immune from a critical incident that has a major impact on everyone left behind. Claire (Aimee McGoldrick), under instruction from her mother not to speak of what happened to anyone else, finds it difficult to come to terms with events, more so than her classmates, who seem to move on faster than she can.

No Tits & Plenty of TroublesThe play is the result of an assignment on McGoldrick’s course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, which involved creating an original piece of theatre: it was duly written and submitted in accordance with the course requirements, but public health restrictions being what they were during the pandemic, it wasn’t performed when it ought to have been. Relying almost entirely on the art of storytelling, McGoldrick’s sole prop is a chair – which, without giving too much away, turns out to be highly versatile.

Arguably, this sort of narrative has been done before. Claire eventually has reason to believe she really could, quite feasibly, make a better living for herself outside Ireland: the end of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes comes to my mind. When Claire recollects her schooldays, in which she went somewhat further than Theresa May running through a field that belonged to a different family, but didn’t do anything outrageously ridiculous or incriminating, there’s more than a whiff of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, inasmuch as Claire and her fellow schoolgirls indulged in rebellion against their school, as well as finding some traditional teachings in the Roman Catholic Church reprehensible.

It’s brief, but nonetheless engaging, and as I have often said, it is better to leave the audience wanting more than to outlast one’s welcome. While the narrative arc explores a well-trodden path about chasing dreams and a better life outside Ireland but always and forever calling Ireland home, it retains a pleasant breeziness. That said, anyone who has found themselves in an embarrassing position will find some familiarity with Claire’s experiences, and the play is as dark as it is amusing.

There is, should McGoldrick choose to pursue it, opportunity to expand the play – as it stands, the audience is left wondering what happens to Claire and her friends (and their love interests) after the play ends. The direct addresses to the audience help to make this production an inviting and enjoyable experience.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Aimee (she/her) is an Irish actor and theatre maker who wants to create and collaborate with others to make work that interrogates identity, accountability and what the feck were all doing in this crazy world.

Join Clare and her pals as they try and navigate their way through being teenagers amongst the political and cultural unrest of the times and trying to make sense of it all while trying to get their first kiss!

No T*ts and Plenty of Troubles
by Aimee McGoldrick
Wednesday 13 July 2022 – Saturday 16 July 2022 (UTC+01)
Golden Goose Theatre SE5 0RR
https://www.goldengoosetheatre.co.uk/

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