REVIEW: Bingo! at Friars Gate

Photo: Lime Tree Theatre

Against the setting of a happy bingo night, Carrie Barrett explores some serious themes in her hour-long play Bingo!

“Jackpot hunters – that’s all they are” is the insult hurled at the audience who think they’ve been conned into attending a real bingo night during a hilarious opening scene, performed at both the Belltable and Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock.

The Moyross Community Drama group uses Limerick accents and Limerick language to bring home both the strength of community and the darkness in the lives of some women.

The laughter continues through the early scenes with some audience members winning at bingo.

As the drama unfolds, we see the details of the darker side of each character’s life, with Carrie using soliloquies throughout the play to tell the back-ground stories of these women.

The audience applauded the brave delivery of the monologues by each cast member.

While the play is delivered by an amateur group, their delivery is anything but amateurish – Carrie Barrett’s words draw great performances from each one.

The play moves back and forth from the serious issues to the laughable progress of the bingo game.

Issues that go unmentioned, unresolved and untreated, bring to light themes of physical violence, emotional control, alcoholism, mental health and of course, keeping with the theme of bingo – gambling addiction.

For all these women, bingo represents a haven within their community to feel free of their troubles.

None of the characters in Bingo! are winners, but the audience wins out with a thought-provoking take on modern life for many women in Limerick society.

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