Writer: Lindsay Jane Sedgwick
Director: Lindsay Jane Sedgwick
Reviewer: David Keane
Eloise (Karen Connell) is the classic good girl, bordering on prim and proper. Her twin sister Lulu is brash and adventurous, the original good time had by all. Lulu’s exploits constantly return to harass the timid Eloise, who is usually left to pick up the pieces after Lulu’s had her fun. Presently, this fun takes the form of the hairy-armed guy with oddly beautiful fingernails who works at the local chipper.
In the first of three short acts, each heralded by a ticking clock, Eloise speaks about her sister, her speech dotted with humorous anecdotes but also with hints of darkness beneath the surface. The audience learns of Lulu’s adventures and of the sister’s mother, a force that was central to the girls’ lives. Similarly, the second act hears from Lulu, who is unaware of what has sister has just spoken of. Lulu relays her version of events, albeit in a more dramatic and vivacious manner than Eloise. Both rôles are played by Connell in a casual and naturalistic way, who presents as a striking figure in a long white shirt on the stark stage. Connell allows the story to flow without being forceful in any way, strengthened by Sedgwick’s direction. The storytelling can be a bit floral, with some of Eloise and Lulu’s speech being superfluous to the story itself; however, this does, at times, lend itself to the naturalistic feel of the piece. Connell’s portrayal of this monozygotic pair is broken up when she briefly, and hilariously, speaks the part of the local chip shop guy, who may or may not turn out to be Eloise and Lulu’s saviour.
Aoife Fealy’s simple set of two chairs, back to back, against a backdrop of drapes works well in tandem with Brian Murray’s functional lighting. Neither distracts from Connell’s performance and allows the story to unfold without any obvious reliance on additional sources.
In any tale of deeply connected characters with opposing traits, from The Great Gatsby to Fight Club (which are the same story in different eras), the first question that comes to mind will always be: are these characters one and the same. Fried Eggs doesn’t shy away from this, and as the story progresses embraces it. Sedgwick’s script plays with the fragility of the human psyche while also engaging the audience for its 60-minute running time. This is, beneath the surface, a complex tale of how we either consciously or unconsciously deal with trauma and the impact it can have on our lives.
Photo:Jeda de Brí | Runs until August 222015