The staging in this powerful one man show is minimal, focused largely on an ancient tape recorder and a middle aged man named Noel. Recording over some questionable music, Noel is recording his suicide note for his oldest friend. Whilst this plot may seem overly familiar, this show is able to reimagine the concept, making for an interesting performance.
Written by Eoin Colfer – of Artemis Fowl fame – My Real Life focuses on a man reflecting upon his life after receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Performed by Don Wycherley, Noel ponders his worldly experiences, from his earliest years to his memories of love, and realises they sum up to only a relatively average and underwhelming life.
He settles upon the decision to end that life, before his disabilities get any worse, not wishing to be a burden on anyone. The performance takes us through both the recording of his last will and testament and also his eventual death by overdose of sleeping pills.
Wycherley’s performance is immersive and moving, simply and brilliantly delivered. There’s relatable stories of youth and struggle, touching and humorous moments, and gripping sadness – this show truly has everything. The subject area is treated with dignity, truly explored and not glorified, delivering a refreshingly honest glimpse of a real world issue.
Although the Wexford accent wavered at times, this did little to detract from the performance as a whole – a testimony to the skill of Wycherley, who was more than worthy of the standing ovation he received.
Words: Katie Mckenzie
My Real Life, Assembly Hall, Aug 9-27 (not 14, 21), 8pm