My Real Life
Theatre Royal Waterford
This 75-minute solo show from Theatre Royal Waterford is set in Wexford and has a premise that might sound familiar.
Written by recent Irish Children’s Laureate Eoin Colfer, it consists of a man well past the first flush of youth talking into a tape recorder. Although he has a good deal in common with Beckett’s Krapp, Noel is recording for another’s benefit.
Viewers will instantly spot that Noel’s left leg and right arm do not function. The reason is that he is suffering from multiple sclerosis, which is disabling and only going to get worse.
As a consequence, unhappy, unfulfilled Noel is using the ageing cassette recorder to leave what we learn is a suicide note to his best friend, Richard.
Much of this ordinary man’s life story is unexceptional, although his treatment of women seems very old fashioned to put it politely, although Noel does pay for his inconstancy.
The real meat in this drama lies in the sad tale of a middle-aged man succumbing to a random illness and his eventual decision to pile down sleeping pills while recording his combined epitaph and last will and testament.
My Real Life has some comic moments and is poignant but feels overly long. On the plus side, this does allow plenty of time to relish a fine performance by Don Wycherley under the direction of Ben Barnes.