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26 November 1998 Edition

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Theatre: Where Have All the Spoons Gone?

Like communities all over Dublin, the Ringsend area had their own week of events to mark European Drug Prevention Week. The programme opened with a performance of a play that turned out to be the highlight of the week. The play, called Where Have All the Spoons Gone?, was written by local woman Tara Gray and performed by the local Drama Group, Watersedge.

It focuses on Louise Clarke, a troubled young woman whose desperation to be loved and accepted and her need to escape from herself, catapults her into heroin addiction and a world where the next fix is all that matters.

The gritty `in your face' opening scene of Louise (Tara Gray) `shooting up' not only caught the attention of the audience but ensured that it held them for the next 55 minutes.

The following scene gave an insight into the origin of Louise's insecurities; a childhood marred by addiction and agression. Her sense of belonging is destroyed by her father's (John Whelan) alcoholism and eventually abandonment, which she sees as a personal failure and is irrevocably scarred as a result.

Her loneliness and neediness growing up is masked by her aggressive behaviour towards family and friends but she believes this is fulfilled when she meets Tomo Doyle, played by Peter Tyrrell, who represents everything she yearns for, so much so that she is blind to his faults and gradually distances herself from the people who genuinely care about her.

Her initial reluctance to use drugs is met with scorn by Tomo, who ironically exclaims ``it's not going to kill you''. But she is soon embroiled in a world from which she can't escape.

Tomo's inevitable rejection resonates her father's departure years earlier and compounds Louise's feelings of being unwanted and unloved.

Her need to loved and accepted have been replaced by a drug addiction which eventually kills her.

Where Have All the Spoons Gone is a hard hitting play that leaves nothing unsaid about the scourge of drugs and their effects.

The mother Mags Clarke (Elaine McDonald) gives an insight into both the love, denial and anger that is part and parcel of addiction within the family. The contrasting role of Sarah, Louise's ambitious sister (Marie Kelly) shows the different ways in which addiction affects the whole family.

The supporting cast, Maureen Blake, Ida Doyle, Michelle Edwards, Frances Mantle, Bridget Gannon, Helen Smith, Edel Geraghty and Joan Walker were excellent in their respective roles.

Watersedge Drama Group hope to stage the play again in the New Year.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland