Last night, we went to see a truly amazing play, The man in womans shoes, at The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn. For those of you that haven't been to the Tricycle, it is a small venue on Kilburn High road, which seems to unearth an endless string of gems. Last night we saw the latest of these. Sadly last night is the end of the run, so you've missed the chance to see it, but I am sure it will come back. Make the effort if it does!
The writer and star of the show, Mikel Murfi explains what it is about here.
Of course Mikel doesn't really do it justice in his speel. There is so much more to it. Pat Farnon is mute. He can't speak but like many people in his situation, he simply can't get across what he wants to say. We see the world from his perspective. He gives us a constant narration. Like many outsiders, he sees and observes many things the rest of us miss and appreciates many of the things the rest of us take for granted. As someone who has done a fair amount of voluntary work with disabled people, it is makes a point many simply don't realise or get. That is that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Pat Farnon is a skilled shoemaker. He plays an important role in his Irish rural community. Some of those don't give him the respect or the recognition he deserves. But the one that matters does and in the end he gets the girl!
The performance by Mikel Murfi is truly extraordinary. Where he is narrating the thoughts in his head, he is eloquent and engaging. He effortless shifts into being mute and totally unable to get anything but the most basic facts over. When he wants mayo on his ham sandwich, he has to produce to hankies in the colour of County Mayo. These little indications that Pat has far more going on are missed by many. That is something I've observed first hand on many occasions. But it is a truly warm and funny play which works on many levels. It is the best thing I've seen for a long time.