The Theatre Machine Turns You On Vol. II,
Project Arts Centre
Solstice, Cork Midsummer Festival
It’s not everyday you get performances of such sensitivity out of young actors, but it’s clear that director Maeve Stone has had a sure, but light, hand in helping sculpt and guide her actors’ treatment of the play’s emotional territory.
– Jesse Weaver, Irish Theatre Magazine
Taste was the first time I really stretched my dramaturgical legs, so to speak. Myself and James were keen to make something early in 2011 and talked through a couple of ideas we were interested in. We were lucky to be working with THEATRECLUB for their minifestival at Project and they provided workshop and rehearsal space to allow us to develop the script. We were locked into Pearse House for a few days, sat on the floor surrounded – quite literally – by script and scissors and glue. It was a high pressure situation as we had a very definite deadline and not a lot of time until it arrived BUT I totally loved this process. I really enjoyed being involved at a primary level in the structuring and evolution of the script.
We were incredibly lucky in casting the piece and were able to work with Liz Fitzgibbon and Sophie Connon for three weeks in rehearsal. The girls were amazing collaborators and – given the freshness of the script – were vital contributors to the drafting process. There’s a hard lesson to be learned in script development deadlines. How do you judge when to stop the re-drafting and make the text final? I think it must be different for every project. Needless to say this one was down to the wire, but we pulled it off.
Irish Theatre Magazine Review by Jesse Weaver:
In James Hickson’s Taste, Kate (Liz Fitzgibbon) and Rose (Sophie Connon) are two twenty-somethings mourning the shared loss of Paul, Kate’s brother and Rose’s lover. Both are lost souls, as Kate is crippled by late nights and early mornings on the bottle, and Rose contemplates emigration to Vancouver. The play opens, after a prolonged prelude that might deserve cutting, with Rose’s arrival at Kate’s place for dinner. As the red and white wine flows, both women confront the loss of a shared loved one, taking the opportunity to reconnect and reset a relationship stalled in the face personal tragedy. While the subject matter might actually suit a TV melodrama, the depth of the writing and the breadth of the performances rescue the piece from stale cliché. It’s not everyday you get performances of such sensitivity out of young actors, but it’s clear that director Maeve Stone has had a sure, but light, hand in helping sculpt and guide her actors’ treatment of the play’s emotional territory. Both Fitzgibbon and Connon handle Hickson’s roving language beautifully, and his endearingly clever turns of phrase are delivered with ease and deftness.
The play was also presented at Solstice as part of Cork Midsummer Festival.