Dublin Fringe Festival: MADONNA

Madonna by Maedhbh Haicéid as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Madonna by Maedhbh Haicéid as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Modern society’s unhealthy fixation with celebrity has not necessarily been a novel theme in Irish theatre over the last few years.  While the world has become increasingly obsessed with the rich and famous, playwrights have been set on interrogating the reasons why.  Meadhbh Haicéid takes to the stage in the International Bar to do just that in an autobiographical piece which unashamedly lays bare her own infatuation with Madonna.
With deadpan delivery Haicéid opens the show by sharing her conviction that the Material Girl is not merely an idol, but rather her soul mate.  As she backs up this belief with a series of farfetched likenesses between herself and Madonna - the most valid of these being their shared initial - Haicéid sets the tone for this tragicomedy.  Over the course of the hour we are exposed to a series of rituals which are punctuated by songs from the Queen of Pop’s backlog; Haicéid’s means of worship takes many forms - she dons the signature ‘80s Madonna clothing, smears her face with garish make-up and attempts to get into the body and mind of her soul mate by emulating her moves and analysing the singer’s favourite pieces of art.

While there are some well-constructed moments in the piece, such as the aforementioned sequence in which a wild-eyed Haicéid painstakingly mirrors dance moves dictated by the disembodied voice of a choreographer, Madonna touches too briefly on such a myriad of topics that it struggles to get to the root of any.  Ultimately, this show is too half-heartedly black-comedy and part social commentary to truly succeed as either.  

Star rating: ★★

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Dublin Fringe Festival: MADONNA by Maedhbh Haicéid

10-14 September, 2013

Produced by Meadhbh Haicéid
In The International Bar

Written and performed by Meadhbh Haicéid