Fearless and funny, Fantasy Ireland runs out of steam

REVIEW – Fantasy Ireland – Town Hall Theatre

It’s impossible not to warm to a performer who, in the middle of her show, hands a bowl of salted dark chocolate to the audience and invites everyone to take a piece.

Even without the chocolate, writer and actor Searlit Ní Gallachoir (Charlotte Gallagher) is a wonderful performer, full of energy and warmth.

Her one-woman show, Fantasy Ireland, which is more stand-up than theatre in its current form, has many comic and unsettling moments.

Searlit, English-born, but with Irish ancestry, and a passport to prove it, has moved to Galway to study drama at NUG. Her mission is to discover the mysticism and magic that she associates with Ireland – pagan witchcraft and Celtic empowerment – to become a sort of goddess on the Western shore.

Clearly, that’ll be a fun journey! She shares her adventures in a vivid, animated form, explaining that her reason for moving here was a broken relationship rather than Brexit, but that Fantasy Ireland would not be a show “about break-ups and blood”; the blood being a reference to menstruation.

Of course, both feature large in a way that’s funny and challenging. She can do serious too, as she demonstrates when recreating the events that led to her broken engagement. Violence and controlling behaviour are explored in a seemingly casual way, but the message hits home.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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