If you do one thing this Saturday evening, go to see ‘Arnica Was My Eyecream’ upstairs in The International Bar in Dublin. Tonight, June 9th, is the last night, although there is also a matinee today at 2pm.
Having seen it myself on Friday night, I have to say it was one of the most moving and harrowing plays I’ve seen in a long time. The subject matter is not a pleasant one, it’s about domestic abuse, and the writer and performer, Fran Winston, playing Nancy, creates a realistic atmosphere that is palpable, in that you could feel every chilling, unpleasant ‘incident’ (a euphemism if ever there was one) as if it were happening to yourself.
Long seen as a taboo and hidden subject, where the victims felt too ashamed and embarrassed to tell friends or family, Arnica Was My Eyecream brings the realities of domestic abuse to light, from the victim’s point of view.
Domestic abuse can happen in any family or couple situation, whether gay or straight, rich or poor, and in Fran Winston’s words ‘right now is happening to someone you know ‘.
The story follows an ordinary woman, Nancy, and the man she meets, Marcus, who appears at first to be a real Prince Charming, until later in the relationship, when he shows his true colours.
‘Pretty soon she is rethinking the contents of her makeup bag – what colour does blend with purple to make it disappear anyway! But it’s fine. After all he bought her chips’.
The voice of Marcus, the abuser, and Nancy’s boyfriend, is ably and very believably performed by Tom Doonan, AV & Sound Designer is Darragh Brennan, Stage Manager is Sean Montague, and Co-producer is Emma Hanley.
Princess Frannie Productions in association with Loft Productions.
The International Bar Upstairs,
23, Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, tonight (Sat.) at 7pm
(The poster above says 7pm, which is the correct time, for the evening performance, although Eventbrite have Saturday separately listed as 8.30pm).
Matinee today 2pm
Tickets from €10.50 at the door, or from Eventbrite at: