“Dying! So what? Big deal, everyone dies,” states Don Wycherley’s Noel, in a dark, quirky, and touching soliloquy in My Real Life at Waterford’s Theatre Royal.
When Wexford man Noel leaves a rambling message on his best friend’s phone, asking him for a good speech for the “afters”, we soon learn in Eoin Colfer’s My Real Life, the “afters” in question are for Noel’s own funeral, as he decides to end it all.
My Real Life is a one man play that will make you laugh and make you cry. The versatile nuances of Wycherley’s character shift imperceptibly from heartache to love, regret to euphoria, with soul bared and aching honesty. Wycherley provides us with a candid snapshot of the highs and lows of one man’s life as he comes to terms with his past, his loves and his MS.
Wycherley is no stranger to the screen with an extensive bio including Sing Street, Moone Boy, Perrier’s Bounty, Father Ted, Bachelor’s Walk and Veronica Guerin. His theatre performances include Heartbreak House, Eden, The Government Inspector, Faith and After Sarah Miles, amongst others.
On the role, Wycherley says, “I worked with Eoin (Colfer) and Ben (Barnes) on My Real Life as a short play in 2014. This time the play is extended to 90 minutes, which allows us to delve a little deeper into the life of Noel, and while his circumstances are tragic, the result is a wonderfully funny, dark, moving and richly engaging piece.”
Wycherley takes up an artist residency in Waterford’s Theatre Royal as My Real Life embarks on a five week run from June 30th. He has visited Waterford on several occasions and most recently last year, when he directed Gillian Grattan’s Hooked, which starred Tina Kellegher, Steve Blount and Seana Kerslake.
Eoin Colfer, author of the international bestselling Artemis Fowl books and Iron Man: The Gauntlet (to be released in October 2016), brought My Real Life to life following a conversation many years ago with a friend in the pub, whose life had taken a turn for the worst.
“I was writing leprechaun books at the time so it was a while before I got around to tackling the theme of an afflicted man alone with his thoughts. My chance came a couple of years ago when the Wexford Arts Centre were celebrating their 40th anniversary and I was asked to put a fifteen-minute piece together to slot in with offerings from John Banville, Billy Roche and Colm Toibín to be directed by Ben Barnes and scored by Eleanor McEvoy. No pressure there. I was stumped for a while, but then the power of what my friend had shared with me came to mind.”
“From fifteen minutes to ninety minutes, so when I heard Don Wycherley was still in the chair, my confidence was boosted. Plus, the director, Ben Barnes is world class and Don takes the words places I have to pretend I meant to go all along.”
My Real Life, by Eoin Colfer and directed by Ben Barnes Theatre Royal Artistic Director is at Theatre Royal Waterford June 30th to July 29th (Thursdays / Fridays).
(June 30th Preview / July 1st, 7th & 8th, 14th & 15th, 21st & 22nd, 28th & 29th)
Time: 8pm. Tickets: €17 / €15 concession. Booking: 051 874402 or www.theatreroyal.ie