Starseed, the latest production from Eva’s Echo Theatre Company, is running in Galway’s Town Hall Studio from the 6th to the 9th of November. This one-hour play follows Iris, a young homeless woman in Galway, as she confronts her feelings about the life she leads and what may be waiting for her in the afterlife.
Two worlds, one play
The set of Starseed is a true testament to what can be done in a black box space with just a handful of visual features. Set designer Hazel Stanley doesn’t create two separate worlds on one stage; instead, she creates a space that can host every scene without feeling out of place. This is bolstered by some great light and sound work, particularly the use of coloured lights in dream sequences. The play could have been improved by more exciting movement within the space, perhaps something that matched the magical setting more. For example, the character of “Shanks” began with fluid dance-like movements but quickly devolved into the same movements and mannerisms as everyone else with the addition of the occasional extended arm or pointed toe. This would have been a great opportunity to create a stronger sense of two worlds colliding.
Finding your mission
In multiple dream sequences, the main character Iris refers to her “mission” in life. What should she be doing? Does she have some greater destiny that she isn’t aware of? Unfortunately, the play doesn’t answer this question. In fact, very little time is dedicated to Iris exploring what is supposed to be the driving force behind her character. I think Starseed could have done with focusing a bit more on its own mission. What was the message of this play? Multiple plots were introduced without being seen through, leaving the audience with very little resolution. I think this play would have benefitted from fewer themes being more deeply explored.
Starseed has an interesting premise, and it’s always great to see plays with west of Ireland settings that show something more than a cottage kitchen. There were some great moments of acting, particularly from Martin Gilligan playing Bulgarian immigrant Gavrail. Even though the protagonist’s journey is a little unclear, I still enjoyed going along for the ride. Starseed is playing in Galway’s Town Hall Studio, November 6-9. Well done to Eva’s Echo and everyone involved in the production.