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Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Oh My Irma

Hayley McGee/Never mind the Noise

Genre: Solo Show

Venue: Hill Street Theatre,


Low Down

This was a very clever concept that has an odd young woman search for PP. Irma is a lady for whom our narrator, an odd young woman, is searching for PP who left her bleeding. She discovers PP with her honed detective skills and then, through breaking in, being found in the closet and having his dog eat her vomit uncovers some of the issues surrounding the poor Irma that are not as she thought they would be.


Our narrator arrives onstage. There is some very good clowning with the lights as she demonstrates her reluctance to become involved with the audience before we realise she is confronting a man who may have left a poor unfortunate woman to bleed to death. The narrative then takes us to consider how this narrator makes the man, PP, tell her all about Irma and the relationship involving the two of them before we are brought to the connections that exists between all three.

This is very clever but yet there are things about the narrative that I found slightly problematic. It has a charm and vitality to it but the oddness of the narrator stopped me from wanting to accept such a conventional, soap opera style ending that was neatly drawn together to end this story. The narrator’s quirkiness was lost in the telling of a tale that I thought would have been better having a surprising ending.

Physically Hayley McGee nails this and the well choreographed and wonderfully observed performance does just sizzle with ability and understanding of someone who is at odds with life itself. This is the cusp of a performance and a career that should fly. Already she managed to be noted internationally and as someone who ahs written about the Kosovan theatre scene i know ho seriously they take their theatre. That this has won a prize there and in several other countries is testimony to its quality.

This has tremendous potential and with our narrator being the only one onstage with a suitcase – not full of dreams – it is fascinating to see her fill the venue and make sure that she touches all sides in her performance. This was creative ability of the highest magnitude and when she came into the audience you could feel people wondering what the likelihood of her presence would bring.

I liked this a lot though didn’t quite fall in love with it as I would have liked. There is much within the show to be enthusiastic about and that enthusiasm may come with the next exploratory piece of genius that Hayley has planned.