Review: Heroin(e) for Breakfast at Smock Alley

3pm isn’t exactly the time of day I’d normally think about shooting up.

Actually now that I think about there isn’t really any time of day I think about shooting up. But y’know I’m middle class, university-educated so I wouldn’t would I?

Which is why attending the matinee performance of Heroin(e) for Breakfast at Smock Alley Theatre yesterday was a bit strange to say the least. Its reputation precedes Heroin(e), having won a Fringe First award in Edinburgh, 2009, and for all its roughness, dirtiness and messiness; the production has quite a clear message about drug addiction – it ruins lives.

The play is quirkily postmodern with the lead character revealing his awareness of the audience, highlight the absurdity of the crowd sitting staring at his living room like disturbed David Attenboroughs.

The characters are clearly drawn with stand out performances by Manus Halligan (Tommy) and Clare O’Malley (Heroin(e)) and the liveliness of these performances, the colourful language used, the great monologues scripted to both these characters give the play a unique character of its own.  The larger than life Tommy has eyes only for the addictive Heroin(e) whose syrupy drawl and coy smile draw him in every time. However, she soon loses her polished look and is revealed for the destructive character she truly is.

In addition, the structure of the play, along with this colourful postmodernism and a lively storyline combine to immerse the audience in what I can only imagine is a trip of their own.

A uniquely colourful play, which seems at once fantasy-like as well as showing the real dirt, drama and destruction caused by drug addiction; Heroin(e) is insightful, fun and quite intense – definitely something different to do with your afternoon!

Plays in Smock Alley Studio until July 12 – performances every evening at 8pm. Tickets (€12/10) from 10 Days in Dublin website.

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