Fringe 2017: Take Off Your Cornflakes

Rose Henderson and Pat Nolan star as an elderly couple who have just celebrated their silver wedding anniversary. Their lives are filled with laughter, quiz shows, travel and dance. They have two children who have grown up to be extremely successful in their careers. Nothing could be better. It’s just…

Tommy (Nolan) has trouble remembering things, and its up to Trish (Henderson) to fill in the gaps.

Take Off Your Cornflakes‘ ┬átakes on a complex subject matter. A complicated topic that is rarely tackled in theater. A lot of Irish dramas thematically form its narrative around memory and nostalgia – for instance, ‘The Weir‘. In this instance, it is the characters struggle to recall their past that leaves its mark. Directed by Liam Halligan, this Fishamble production offers an honest and heartfelt portrayal of living with Alzheimers.

The set is made up of props for the actors to pull from, including a laptop which they use to Skype their kids, who can be seen on a pixelated screen behind the stage. The lighting is arranged to offer a sense of time and place. It often changes between dim shadows and bright colours, catapulting the spectator from the feeling of being lost in a memory to a disco in the 1970s.

The couple’s chemistry is beautiful. Portraying a typical Irish couple who have shared a million laughs and a million heartbreaks. Not only does it lend a voice to those suffering with dementia, but it gives a platform for those who have to watch a loved one go through it. We see Trish have to bite her tongue and remain patient as she endures the constant questioning by her husband.
We see the strain this can cause on her own mental health.

All in all, the message behind the project is very simple.

To appreciate ones past, but to more importantly, live in the present.

 

by Kevin Worrall

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