The Space Triplex, Edinburgh
Gutted is the story of three young Irish women, living in Dublin in the 1980s, all of them faced with difficult decisions. They spend their days in drudgery, working in a factory, gutting fish, but spend their nights tirelessly chasing the elusive concept of fun, each of them yearning for her own happy ending. But in an Ireland where abortion is still illegal and contraception hard to come by, sowing those wild oats can often have disastrous consequences, and things finally come to a head when a long-awaited big night out builds, inevitably, to disaster.
Written by Sharon Byrne and superbly acted by Eleanor Byrne, Niamh Finlay and Sarah Hosford, this is a little gem of a play, with plenty to say and a captivating way of speaking its mind. Byrne’s ear for dialogue rings out from just about every line and the three actors nail their performances, keeping the action bubbling along, switching effortlessly from narrative to narrative, handling comedy and tragedy with equal aplomb. I love the simple staging of this, the use of three microphones to emphasise particular lines of dialogue and I love the snatches of close harmony singing that occasionally punctuate the proceedings. Moments of tragedy are expertly and economically conveyed, as the women create a whole cast of characters to populate their respective stories.
This play is only at the Fringe for a short run, so you have just a few days in which to see it. If you still haven’t made up your mind what to see in the final week, grab some tickets and head down to the Space Triplex.
Gutted is certainly worth your time and money.