Rise Productions brings this dark, relatable and oftentimes comic thriller in the shape of Spotless. Two women, one forty-odd, the other eighteen, Genevieve and Jen, find themselves tangled up in one another’s lives. Genevieve, in a desperate last-ditch bid to have a child, has sold her marital home in the suburbs in exchange for an almost-inner-city flat. Jen has lived in the neighbourhood her whole life, and, in the wake of family tragedy, is trying to escape, seeing the Leaving Cert as her all-important road out. Their lives could not be more different, until they come into contact with Dean, the dashing local dark horse.
For Jen, this is the thrill of first love, a boy who sees her as different. For Genevieve, it is the chance to feel young again, after seventeen years of safe, predictable marriage. Neither of them can anticipate the effect that this young man will have on their lives.
Spotless is an exercise in storytelling, brought to life with two convincing performances by Ciara O’Callaghan (Genevieve) and Emma Willis (Jen). Although the story is, at times, somewhat predictable and contrived, it is good to see some important updates on the typical narratives, particularly importantly the inclusion of a crisis pregnancy in the wake of the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. It is a play about love and loss, about social mobility and the costs of it for women in the twenty-first century.
Overall, Spotless is an enjoyable piece of theatre, carried along by two confident performances.
Review by Síofra Ní Shluaghadháin
‘Spotless’ will be showing at the Smock Alley from April 22nd – 27th.