NEW YORK’S Irish Repertory Theatre comes to the Town Hall Theatre on Tuesday May 7 and Wednesday 8 at 8pm, with Laoisa Sexton’s much-acclaimed ‘dark blue comedy’, For Love.
Described as “riotously tart and fiercely energetic” by The New York Times, and “successfully and consistently comic” by Irish Theatre Magazine, For Love introduces us to Val, Tina and Bee, three Dublin women who are throwing down their handbags and looking for love, no matter what it costs.
For Love takes us on a relentless ride, a romp through the urban sexual experiences of these three women in modern day Dublin. Is there more than a one-night stand in Val’s future? Can Tina find the right dress if she’s got the wrong man? Should Bee hop into bed with a married man or just go to the zoo? Or is there something else out there?
Written by actress Laoisa Sexton, who also plays the role of Bee, For Love has already enjoyed a successful run in New York and comes to Galway as part of an Irish tour.
“We did it for the First Irish Festival which was on last September in New York,” Sexton tells me. “I submitted it and it got in. I didn’t think it would because I wrote it very fast. My first play took me a year and a half and this one was done in a month. We sold out on the run and it was a big success and then we did it off - Broadway and then the tour came along and it’s just been gathering momentum, it’s been quite an experience, I have learned so much.”
Despite the play’s American success, Sexton and co still had to raise the finance themselves to bring it to Ireland.
“We funded this ourselves, we did a fundit campaign,” she says. “We didn’t get any grant aid, when we applied we were told us there were only grants for work leaving Ireland not coming into the country. But it all came together eventually and hopefully sometime there will be structures set up to support the community of Irish artists living overseas.
“We even approached The Gathering and they said it didn’t qualify as ‘an event’. Yet it was John Duddy’s homecoming [ex-boxer Duddy is in the cast] and that was a big deal in Derry and we were invited to meet Martin McGuinness at Stormont for tea and bicies!”
Sexton goes on to describe the content of the play.
“It portrays three women in their thirties who are looking for love,” she says. “There is a lot of searching in the play. I like to say it’s like a dirty pop song, it deals with issues that everyone thinks about like love, sex, yearning, wanting, looking for stuff outside of yourself when it is probably quite close to you. It’s quite funny. It’s been called raunchy and we really go there but underneath it all it shows the emptiness of being loveless.
“It’s about what you will do for love and put yourself through. Val has a one-night stand and tears her heart out looking for the right person. The only time someone says ‘I love you’ in the play is when the married man is talking to his wife on the phone and he doesn’t really love her at all. They are four people who are really searching.”
What of the play’s characters?
“Val is overweight but optimistic and goes out on all these one-night stands trying desperately to find someone.” Sexton replies. “Bee is a single mother who is about to be a granny at thirty-two and the third woman, Tina, is unhappily married and she fills her life up with shopping and superficial things.
“All the male roles are played by John Duddy, including a married guy that Bee is debating about taking things to the next level with. It’s funny and dark, it’s a dark-blue comedy.”
As well as Duddy and Sexton, the cast features Jo Kinsella (Val ) and Georgina McKevitt (Tina ).
“Men love the play as well, it’s not like a chick-flick,” Sexton points out. “It’s about women but it’s not just for women. It’s not Sex and the City; it shows very real situations that happen to people and it’s not glamorised. And we have this recession hanging over us.
“These women have climbed up by their own efforts so they are successful in some regards, just not in love and that is the one thing that is missing from all their lives.”
Tickets are €15/12 and are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777 and www.tht.ie