Absolut Fringe 2012: SPARKPLUG

Little John Nee's SPARKPLUG as part of ABSOLUT Fringe

Little John Nee's SPARKPLUG as part of ABSOLUT Fringe

In this piece, Little John Nee becomes Sparkplug O'Callaghan, a singer who is compelled to sing the blues, finding cause, as he wanders around the shifting sands of the northern Tullyglen, represented by the boxes on stage that unfurl narrative props with each visiting.

At one point, the boxes begin to resemble a lighthouse - an interesting symbol for this piece of storytelling which looks to search out small stories, creating an atmosphere where innocence and restlessness coexist; it's there in the children swinging idly on the gate, and in the pensioned-off guard obsessively stalking Ruby, a local woman that has stolen his heart.

This is a mesmerising piece of theatre that suggests poetry in the details, bringing a local community to life through a particular kind of language: "Crazy Horse Corcoran is going to Dublin to set a man straight, and asked me if I would officiate at a burial", which sets a surreal tone, bringing to mind something like Katherine Dunn's novel Geek Love, with its traveling carnival, as Tullyglen community looks forward to "vintage day", or John McGahern, with its clear-eyed take on a world that is not as it first appears. It is a place of splendid isolation, replete with secret yearning, subtle sectarian sympathies, pet cemeteries and boats in meadows - Ireland, in other words.

Star rating: ★★★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Absolut Fringe 2012: SPARKPLUG by Little John Nee

11-15 Sept 2012

Produced by Little John Nee
In The Lir