This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub.
Belfast, 1998. The Troubles give way to Talks, which give way to Agreements. Not that it affects Michael too much. He and his friends have other things to worry about, such as who did what with which girl. The conversation never gets too heavy and Michael never really talks about his dad, who died when he was eight. Now Michael has found something else to add to the list of things he doesn’t talk about- his ever enlarging left nut. Faced with the possibility of cancer, and reflecting on his father’s death, Michael does what Irish men are good it: he keeps it all to himself.
This fast-paced one-man show explores adolescence, bereavement, and testicles. Patrick is tasked with multiple roles and manages to bring vigour and tenderness to them all in varying degrees, helped by some excellent sound effects from 90s ephemera. Directed by Oisín Kearney, Patrick gives a sweat pumping performance from masturbatory mishaps to dodgy dancing that all progress the story at an exhilarating pace.
Given the calibre of this piece, it is surprising that My Left Nut is a writing debut for both Patrick and Kearney. It is well thought out and strikes a good balance between pulling heartstrings and hilarity. Patrick’s dexterous characterisations of his family, friends, and medical professionals leave the audience laughing out loud yet these tears of laughter can quickly turn to sorrow, most notably in his portrayal of his grieving mother.
My Left Nut is what fringe theatre is all about; it’s an hour of fresh, pure entertainment that shouldn’t be missed.
Writers: Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney
Director: Oisín Kearney
Runs until 23 September 2017 | Image: Contributed