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Gutted: written by Whitstable's Sharon Bryne and starring Deal's Lucia McAnespie at the Marlowe Studio

By Katie Davis

Jaysus, wait till I tell ya about Gutted - the Kent-written black comedy set in a fish factory in 1980's Dublin.

While a fish factory setting may sound drab, the play is far from it with vibrant storytelling and a strong comedic value.

The play showcases three women's stories - Delores, Breda and Deirdre, who meet in the factory staffroom to dramatise a significant night in their lives.

Gutted is a black comedy set in 1980's Dublin
Gutted is a black comedy set in 1980's Dublin

Staying true to the black comedy genre, the play hits highs and lows as it covers more daunting themes while retaining laughter throughout.

If the audience were silent one minute, they were sure to be laughing the next.

Despite being comprised of just three actresses - Nancy Sullivan (Dolores), Lucia McAnespie (Breda) and Rose O'Loughlin (Deidre) - the audience become fully engaged by the story each woman tells.

Deal's Lucia McAnespie as Breda, left
Deal's Lucia McAnespie as Breda, left

With a mix of 80s music, dynamic monologue and fast-paced Irish storytelling, their stories are brought to life.

Cleverly, each tale is split into sections as the women take turns in telling parts, keeping the audience gripped, wanting to know what happens next.

Credit really has to be handed to the three actresses who bring the tales alive so well with just a few props and interactive monologue.

Sharon Byrne, the writer of Gutted
Sharon Byrne, the writer of Gutted

As an Irish comedy set in the 1980s, it's full of swearing as you can imagine and keeps the storytelling authentic and, of course, more comical and dramatic.

This, alongside adult themes, definitely makes it one for an older audience and gives a real taste of working class life in 1980's Dublin.

Sharon Bryne, who wrote the comedy, lives in Whitstable but was born in Dublin and is now a supported artist of the Marlowe Theatre.

Gutted is full of Irish story telling and comedy
Gutted is full of Irish story telling and comedy

It's not the type of play I'd usually go to see but I must say, I am so glad I did - it's simplicity and explosive nature is a real breath of fresh air for theatre-goers.

If you get the chance, be sure to catch Gutted on stage, whether you're 18, 80 or somewhere in-between!

Gutted is at the Marlowe Theatre Studio until Saturday, February 25 - book tickets here

or call the box office on 01227 787787.

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