Adelaide Botanic Gardens - Noel Lothian Hall
Until 19 Mar 2017

Review by Jamie Wright

"My Name is Saoirse" is the story of (unsurprsingly) Saoirse, an (equally unsurprisingly) Irish girl growing up in the late 1980s in an unspecified country town not far from Limerick, in the family home she shares with her father and her brother. Her best friend Siobhán lives nearby.

Writer/performer Eva O'Connor takes us on a journey with Saoirse over the course of a handful of years, mixing together events both humorous and serious – school days, life with her brother and their single-parent father, and growing up shy in the shadow of the increasingly mature and outgoing Siobhán.

It's written in a delightful, melodic style – that very Irish kind of descriptive storytelling; it's no shock to learn that the play has been adapted for radio. But in its on-stage incarnation O'Connor and director Hildegard Ryan have made it dynamic and visually engaging as well, through lighting and movement, portrayal of multiple characters (the scene with the old lady Saoirse and Siobhan visit and are sent to buy cigarettes for is especially good) and use of the space.

While the story itself isn’t a wild ride of plot twists or shocking developments, thanks to the writing and the performance it doesn’t need to be; as it is it’s funny, engaging and moving – solid Fringe theatre.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)