Crouched down on a rocky plinth, ‘Essie’ sits mid-air like a priestess amongst rubble and three intimidating spikes. A gripping opening image, Breffni Holahan has the audience utterly absorbed for the entirety of her sixty-minute monologue.
Seemingly functioning, ‘Essie’s’ control begins to collapse around her, her work prospects and relationships crumbling between her fingers. She tirelessly tries to hang onto how she is perceived by her peers, the image she has painted all her life – ‘practical, no-nonsense, feet firmly on the ground’, all the while feeling completely disjointed. Margaret Perry’ sharp, quick-witted script is articulated fervently by an animated Holahan. Inquisitive work colleagues and family members are voiced by ‘Essie’ at an overwhelming pace and as the play unfolds and the intensity heightens, she withdraws.
Slickly directed by Thomas Martin and formidably executed by a relatable Holahan, the play often edges towards being of five-star quality. The calibre of writing is remarkable, however, at times it gets distracted at times and there is a somewhat abrupt and frustrating ending.
Collapsible is a sophisticated production, successfully structured with promising writing and a stellar performance from Holahan.