Venue: Bewley’s Cafe Theatre at Powerscourt
Written and performed by: Michael Patrick
Co Written by: Oisin Kearney
Review by: Jack Pepper (TheatreNI Young Critic)
“On the surface, ‘My Left Nut’ seems odd to be a one-man show filled with energy and gut-busting comedy, given the plot of the show. With Michael Patrick portraying the struggles of a young Belfast boy juggling his unknown illness along with the abrupt passing of his father, the tone undoubtedly oscillates between sombre & comedic but is without a doubt, an incredibly compelling and uplifting one-man show.
From the unrelenting energy given by Patrick throughout the performance, he utilises his acting skills honed at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts to portray multiple characters, each instantly recognisable from their mannerisms, facial expressions and their accents & dialogue. Patrick stays true to his Belfast roots, with the vernacular and colloquialisms implemented into his script, whilst also recreating authentic scenarios that most teenage boys have to experience; let alone one who has a potential illness on his hands!
Co-written by Oisin Kearney, the pair’s clever use of lighting immersed the audience into a setting that was instantly recognisable; from the deep blue lighting flared up onto Patrick’s face, mirroring the young protagonist sat in front of the TV playing Streets of Rage, to the single limelight coming down onto him alarming the audience to the change of a more sombre tone.
As Patrick is on the stage the entire show with no costume change, there is a real sense of time being blurred. I was very surprised to find out at the end that the show portrayed a time span of six years, which felt more like six months to a year. However, this can be expected when it is condensed into a mere hour and did not ruin the final impact of the show.
With the focal point of the show being about the lack of a father figure during an adolescent crisis, their sense of the topic at hand is no doubt grounded in reality, with realistic dialogue and mannerisms portrayed by Patrick throughout. It was to no surprise when Patrick delivered the closing line and the stage faded to black, a standing ovation was immediately seen. The clinical writing by the pair to make full use of the hour they had has to be commended, along with the acting skills of Patrick – constant energy, focus and the ability to change character and change back instantly. A very enjoyable show and one that should be seen if you have the chance.”
***Review by Jack Pepper***