Myra’s Story (fourth review)

Myra-Story-Jennifer-CornishKEY-promo-image-LRGphoto-credit-Brian-Z.-Kelly1Playwright: Brian Foster
Director: Darlene Spencer
Cast: Jennifer Cornish

Review by: Sandra Ellis

It is rare to see a Fringe production that truly abides by the minimalist values of the festival.  It is even rarer to see a show that truly excels by utilizing those same values.  In this way, and many others, Myra’s Story is exemplary.

This one-woman show which, at its core, it is more story-telling than production – and I say that in reverence – recounts and explores the life story of a homeless, alcoholic woman in Dublin (Myra).  While the story is certainly dramatic and deeply sad, there are moments of great beauty and comedy that Jennifer Cornish, playing Myra, manages to conjure up so naturally it seems effortless.

As Myra takes us back and forth from past to present, the sound and lighting help to confirm our point in her journey though are almost unnecessary as Cornish transitions so smoothly from one point in time to the next.

Credit must also be given to director Darlene Spencer for the expert use of space and set.  Little is needed to tell this story and little is used.  This is a director who trusts that sometimes less is more and knows how to make it work.

If I had to provide a critique – and I do so hesitantly – I would say that the show would benefit from being a little shorter in length.  That said, on Saturday night, with just an old park bench and a single wooden chair for reference, I saw a woman’s entire life story unfold.  And I enjoyed every minute of it.

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