Creative condiments to spice up lockdown life

Staying In

LIVE THEATRE ‘Mustard’, a one-woman show about heartbreak, madness and how condiments can be the ultimate coping mechanism.

Linenhall’s April/May line-up includes Mustard and more

Ciara Moynihan

Fans of Irish theatre company Fishamble will be thrilled to hear that they are returning to the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, with a performance that will be streamed live on Thursday, April 29. The play being staged is ‘Mustard’, a one-woman show about heartbreak, madness and how condiments can be the ultimate coping mechanism. It is written by award-winning playwright and performer Eva O’Connor, who also stars, and directed by Hildegard Ryan.
The narrative revolves around the central character, E, a young Irish woman living in Londan whose relationship with a professional cyclist has crashed. She plummets downwards into a black hole of heartbreak and despair, and ultimately into the arms of breakdown – and mustard. While this might sound far from uplifting, the play is peppered with plenty of humour, with commentators drawing comparisons with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s triumphant ‘Fleabag’.
Reviewing the play, Amy O’Connor writes in The Irish Times that ‘Eva O’Connor delivers fiery performance that never wavers in intensity’. “Mustard is a tale of grief, addiction, and losing your sense of self… it straddles the line between theatre and performance art… The script is densely packed with jokes and rich metaphors and she [the writer] explores the issue of mental health with sensitivity and aplomb.”

Other offerings
The Linenhall also has plenty of other exciting offerings on its April/May lineup. If you’re in the mood for a film, the Linenhall Film Club’s screening is ‘Falling’ (2020), starring Viggo Mortensen and Laura Linney. A tale of family, relationship and ageing, it follows the story of John, a middle-aged gay man whose conservative and homophobic father, Willis, starts to show symptoms of dementia, forcing him to sell the family farm and move to LA to live with John and his husband, Eric.
A four-week online workshop series, part of the Family Centre’s Flourish initiative, also starts today (Tuesday). It offers people the opportunity to develop new interests and explore new hobbies – a supportive and enjoyable way to connect socially with others in the community, The first starts this afternoon at 2.15pm, and the series will run until May 4.
If you’ve ever fancied writing for teens or younger readers, you’ll be very interested in ‘Writing for Children and Young People’ with ER Murray, which starts on Monday, May 10. Writing for younger audiences requires unique skills, and Elizabeth will guide participants through a wide range of topics, including age classifications, dialogue and world building. The workshops run for two hours over four weeks, via Zoom.
Tomorrow (April 14) will see the fourth and final episode of ‘Stories, Songs and Shenanigans with Aindrias de Staic’, and it will feature multi-instrumentalist Rick Epping. A massive hit with online audiences over the past month, the series has already featured Nicola Joyce of the Whileaways, Castlebar’s Laura Ryder and Leo Moran of The Saw Doctors. With storyteller extraordinaire Aindrias de Staic at the helm, there’s plenty of ceol agus craic.
The Linenhall’s You Tube Channel is also a treasure trove of free distractions. The hugely popular series ‘Stór Ceoil Mhaigh Eo’ wraps up this week with renowned button-accordion player Pat Friel as David Munnelly’s final guest. Poetry lovers can still enjoy the fabulous ‘A fine line…’ recordings, and for all things Linenhall, ‘Hall Talk’ with Bryan Gerard Duffy features a range of entertaining interviews with special friends of the arts centre.

For more information and tickets, visit www.thelinenhall.com.