We all turn into our parents eventually. In my case this would involve me achieving a handicap of 15 at golf, a love of gravelly sounding folk music and grade eight oboe. Eventually, I’m sure.
Little Gem is a touching play about the relationship between three generations of Dublin women. They play off against one another as they deal with the life, love and death of the year. Not to mention the salsa classes, cocaine and dildos.
The three monologues are interconnected, and reveal the varying perspectives of the three women, as well as weaving the central narrative together. Initially the love life of the youngest, Amber, is focused on. Out on the town downing sambucas and getting paranoid at the wandering eyes of her boyfriend, Amber shifts between cocky teenager and vulnerable young adult. Gradually the focus shifts to Lorraine, the embattled and depressed mother who has had to cope with a drunken husband walking out on her and Amber.
The performance is very well acted, making some serious take on an appearance of normality. Each character variously shifts from delusion, grief and joy. The lack of any singular voice of reason and photographic objectivity also lent itself to the impressionistic portraits of the three women.
The every day theme of Little Gem is very much a part of its charm. Of course there are often wrinkles, tears and blemishes on the portrayals of the generations, yet here in lies the humanity and emotion of the piece. Three very convincing performances in a finely tuned play about life’s uncertainties.
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