Theatre Review: Famla at The MAC Belfast

Famla is another production which has left me contemplating what an audience want’s to see on stage. I attended this week with an open mind. I had  seen a few production shots but nothing more, I had no idea of content or story. To say I was left in shock was an understatement. Some will argue this is a reaction and that is the point of theatre. But as you have read from my past blog post’s I feel good theatre should entertain as well as inform,shock and get an audience member thinking about what we have witnessed.Be that pure unadulterated escapism or home truths.

Famla portrays a harrowing story of pregnancy, turmoil and the need to be loved. I will be honest the first half was not for me. The actors performances (especially in monologue had been effective) I felt uncomfortable like I was prying on something I really shouldn’t be. It brings me back to my earlier statement is this actually something I wanted to watch on stage. Is it something that entertained me? It certainly evoked feelings but was this what I wanted to see after a day at work? Now I understand that theatre portrays the real world as well as fantasy and having studied Northern Irish Theatre at degree level I do have a certain soft spot for theatre  born and bred in N.I. This was raw, gritty and I personally felt the story was unfinished. I couldn’t find a reason for telling this tale.

It’s a haunting story of naive relationships with a lot more grit than I’m used to. Being a native of the North-West of Northern Ireland I did get  lost in some of the colloquial phrases and the set did give me a lot of health and safety worries but my real concern was the story. We are introduced to characters who all have a back story but we get no conclusion,no punctuation there is an unending sadness to this tale. I didn’t want a Disney story of the prince sweeping the female protagonist of her feet. But as an audience member I needed some relief! I felt if I met these characters in real life I would have every counsellor, doctor and welfare officer at that symbolic front door.

This was a thought provoking piece but ultimately it wasn’t to my taste but if you want to check it out the company are now on tour details can be found at http://www.tinderbox.org.uk.

Emer D xxfamla-1b-768x1154

 

 

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