Review by: Rebecca Costie
There is a photograph by Don McCullin. It’s of a homeless Irish man who has a soot-stained and sunken face, a forehead scarred with deep lines, and a head of matted peaks of hair. But it’s not this ugliness that draws you in and holds you there. It’s his eyes. Intense. Sad. Beautiful. Just like Myra Hennessey’s eyes. Just like Myra’s Story.
Myra’s Story is a one-woman play that takes the audience on a journey through the sweet and bitter past and the static present of Myra Hennessey, a homeless and alcoholic Irish woman. It is a powerful exploration of the causes and effects of loss and affliction.
Jennifer Cornish is a theatrical force who uses her voice, facial expressions, and body to bring to life a collection of believable and memorable characters, including the witty, sometimes vulgar, and ever-reflective Myra, Myra’s slouching and slurring father, and the shrill and scurrying Tina the Tap.
Brian Foster’s writing, sharp, unrelenting, and stuffed with figurative language and Irish colloquialisms, and Cornish’s skill, confidence, and abundant energy are an excellent match.
Near the end of the play, Myra remarks: “If only people would take time to listen.” Take time to listen to Myra. You will be very glad you did.