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Young Critics: Killymuck, Bunker Theatre

Killymuck by Kat Woods, Bunker Theatre

Exploring the difficulties of life in poverty, Killymuck is a well-executed demonstration of the hardships of being working class.

Performed entirely by Aoife Lennon, the show delivers exceptional characterisation. I expected to see more actors, as I didn’t realise it was going to all be performed by the same person.

Lennon works through multiple life experiences, around treatment from others on those who struggle financially. These experiences alter the lifestyle of the working classes, creating everyday worries, such as wearing the wrong clothes.

One scene describes the Enniskillen bombing in Ireland, which paired with an alcoholic father, leaves Niamh with repressed anger which makes her violent, and she ends up in fights because she has no role model or way of coping with her emotions.

The performance requires minimal set and no props, only light beams, spotlights, dirt, a whiteboard and a single chair. An ongoing ticking sound plays throughout in the background, with the occasional key sound of birds singing, or a car horn. The minimal set by Minglu Wang was very effective, as it could symbolise poverty. Everything was clear initially, except the bomb. The costume was basic, a white top and black leggings, which portrayed how simple life in poverty is, and that not much goes on.

An effective fight scene between Niamh and Siobhan takes place, featuring flying fists as a result of the more privileged kids calling Niamh ‘horsehead’. The sound design by Benjamin Grant is simple, but the ticking is like a ticking time bomb, which links back to the Enniskillen bombing of 1987.

Bunker Theatre’s Killymuck is engaging as well as atmospheric, despite the sparsely built set. Personally, I felt like I could connect with the play, and I really liked it. Most of the time I understood what was going on.

I would recommend this play to other people, and I think they should go and see it. The point of the play, I think, was to connect with people, as well as educate and inform them. I think this play is better in a smaller, less expensive theatre, as it symbolises life as a poorer person. I think this play could go to public secondary schools, as many kids who go to these schools could connect with this play.

Review by Eliska, 14.