Review: Leaving Home Party by Catherine Ireton

Lifestyle / Sun 13th Jul 2014 at 10:12am

Catherine Ireton
Leaving Home Party
Harlow Playhouse

THIS is the second time that this reviewer has seen Catherine Ireton perform. Catherine probably has one of the sweetest voices in music. We think it sounds a bit like Sinead O’Connor as Regina Spektor. We know that will probably irk Catherine but we just had to get that one off our chest.

Firstly, Leaving Home Party is a perfect piece for the Edinburgh Festival and so we implore anyone visiting the biggest arts festival in the world to check out her show.

The 45 minute performance charts Catherine leaving the Republic of Ireland to travel to Scotland. The set was spare but effective, especially the ladder and the green spot of grass.

One had to smile when she remembers the sign at Prestwick Airport: “Pure dead brilliant”…”Dead on arrival” observed Catherine. The whole piece is played out as part tone poem, part reflection and part monologue but throughout the piece you continue to be drawn to Catherine’s voice.

One sign of success is that you want to find out more about the characters mentioned in the piece, especially Catherine’s “mother’s mother’s mother”.

There is a melancholia throughout the whole piece but that is the nature of migration. The journey that Catherine recalls could be told by many a fellow Celt who came to Harlow in the 1950’s onwards.

But what keeps the piece together is the quality of Catherine’s songs and the quality and variation of the musicianship.

We look forward to seeing Catherine in Edinburgh and continuing her relationship with Harlow.

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