Reviews

This is the Funeral of Your Life

Project Arts Centre, 2017

An unexpectedly funny and uplifting play about your own death.

This is elegant, dignified, skillfully put together by White and producer Joanna Crawley, and unexpectedly humorous.

Both funny and uplifting...

Lian Bell’s setting is funeral home chic, and perfect. Sarah Jane Shiels’s lighting mirrors absence by continuing spots after an object or person has moved from the position...

Deirdre Falvey, THE IRISH TIMES, November 2017

Dead good: Louise White’s eclectic exploration of mortality is ebullient and profound.

The sympathetic and dignified outline of a standing wreath suggests a funeral parlour, but anyone expecting grave solemnity in Louise White’s ebullient new work will be surprised by its jovial notes – the overwhelming tangerine of a stage curtain, a Whitney Houston melody lightly threaded on piano...

White’s charming production – woven from personal grief – explores ideas of mortality. Different modes of performance are deployed to seek understanding and acceptance; in dance, for instance, Philip Connaghton approaches the act of dying from several sides, flashing melodramatically with fright one minute, over-conceptual and rigid the next, until he convulses violently to the rhythms of life monitors. The feel-good sound of ABBA’s ‘SOS’ finds its way into the performance, in an anticipation of death that seems to also anticipate life...

It all makes for a fresh fascination with rituals of grieving. At the show’s most poignant moment, we visit a wake where figures stress over details of organisation. Coming and going with trays, in between changing their shirts, the mourners are clearly finding it difficult to prepare. The dressing of audience members in superhero capes to make sandwiches and dry cups becomes a remarkably compassionate gesture.

Chris McCormack, Exeunt Magazine, November 2017

This is a clever, funny show which engages the audience from the opening moments, and volunteers were enthusiastically putting their hands up so they could take part...

White’s show is an immersive look at the rituals we have around death, wakes and funerals; everything from endless pots of tea to endless rounds of sandwiches to heartfelt eulogies to choices of music poor, saccharine and apt...

Comical, moving and genuinely thought-provoking, This is the Funeral of Your Life captures the absurdity, devastation and humility of Final Farewell.

Niall McArdle, 2paragraphs.com November 2017

Mother You

Block B, Smithfield, Dublin Fringe Festival, 2015

The scale of this event is one of the most fascinating things about it, and Louise White has moved on from her last Fringe event. . . It is a story that deals with community and realising what is important and worth fighting for. . . It is events like this that make the Fringe special. The vision, scope and creativity on display make it a charming event.

Nomoreworkhorse.com, September 2015

 

Louise White's pastoral promenade in this environment, much like the removal of an old railroad in her Laois town Abbeyleix, shows that when the industrial is put aside, nature can flourish. White offers candid glimpses of how to engage that resource. . . The staging is really un-dramatic, preferring instead the idiom of the town hall where action is taken with tea in hand. The willful cast are nicely understated but don't mistake the scene for being idyllic; White isn't afraid to show hierarchies in groups and the sly dismissal of certain members.

Chris McCormack, Broadwayworld.com, September 2015

 

The performance of ‘Mother You’ has as much depth and as many layers as the bog in Abbeyleix. . .  The understated yet beautifully authentic presentation by the cast of ‘Mother You’ gently encourages us to remember our feelings from our first day at school, at college, at our workplace or at any of the thousands of community events hosted the length and breadth of Ireland. Cringe and fold up inside as the dynamics unfurl in the magical space, knowing full well that you are that person, you have asked that question and you have felt that feeling.

David Staunton, Walkinniu.ie, September 2015

 

Way Back Home

Project Arts Centre, Cube, Dublin Fringe Festival 2013 - WINNER Spirit of the Fringe

The form of her absorbing show follows its material, guided by a heartfelt sense of empathy for a directionless society in search of new structures. . .

White’s interest is something warmer: the hope and resilience necessary to find our way again.

Peter Crawley, THE IRISH TIMES, September 2013

 

This mystifying piece merges visual and sound art, music, dance and theatre in a splendidly seamless fashion. . .

When you put the pieces together, the bigger picture emerges. This is a play about, for one, the urge to fix things.

Jennifer Lee,IRISH THEATRE MAGAZINE, September 2013

 

It captures the wildness and free-wheeling nature of a child’s view of the world and is playful and joyous. . .

This is a warm and feel good piece; that will leave you with a smile on your face when you leave the theatre.

www.nomoreworkhorse.com, September 2013

 

 

All Things Considered it’s a Nice Place to Start

Project Arts Centre, Cube, Dublin Fringe Festival 2011 & Town Hall Theatre, Galway Theatre Festival 2011

With dance, mime, punning, ingenious use of washing lines and even a bit of a bounce on some mini-trampolines, the work is marked by appositely directed theatrical devices. It’s well-judged, tongue-in-cheek joviality that bigs-up the Irish everyman and it is delivered slickly by very experienced performers. Making this thoroughly modern too, the ‘fourth-wall’ is undermined with asides, appeals, nudges and explanations to the audience who become willing participants in this troupe’s enviable zest for life. . . All Things Considered… is warm, optimistic and spits (politely) in the face of doom and gloom.

Matthew Harrison IRISH THEATRE MAGAZINE, October 2011

 

Thank you. All too seldom uttered, all too seldom heard. It seems therefore unexpected to hear the response it elicits, as Louise White and Kate Nic Chonaonaigh tenderly acknowledge in a thoroughly heart-wrenching and spirit-lifting show, in a room filled with love and wonder. 300 postcards sent to 300 hundred individuals in the 32 counties; community leaders, teachers, friends, strangers all anonymously receive the same hand-written address - thank you for being you. In turns angry and grateful, this production attempts to address the great dearth of goodwill and kindness that exists, at least publicly, in the current whirlpool of doom and gloom. The great catharsis of telling stories meets the impossibility of the selfless act, there was laughter and there were almost unexplainable tears too.

Jeanette Farrell LE COOL MAGAZINE, September, 2011

 

From the get-go, there is no fourth wall between audience and performers; much like the original idea, this is meant to be a more inclusive approach to theatre.

It’s a neat and generous idea . . . intriguing and heart-warming, and sends an audience back out on to rainy lunchtime streets with smiles all round – mission accomplished.

Laurence Mackin  THE IRISH TIMES, September 2011

 

 

From the Heart 

No. 13 North Great Georges Street, Dublin Fringe Festival 2010

In affecting visual images . . . the uncanny atmosphere achieves a concrete, sensate effect, while the lavender scent of a young gentleman’s touch and the sweet sticky taste of blackberry jam lingers long after the short performance piece ends.

Sara Keating, THE IRISH TIMES, September 2010

 

Loss, love, pain, fear, death... Louise White and Kate Nic Chonaonaigh don't shy away from confronting major themes in this intriguing and complex production. . . The stellar five-person cast make this a memorable experience.

Brian Keane, LE COOL MAGAZINE, September 2010

 

Louise White and Kate Nic Chonaonaigh bring a sense of honest frailty to characters, willing us to see reality in fiction, lulling us to a state of intense discomfort.

Kathy Clarke, IRISH THEATRE MAGAZINE, 2010

 

 

Nurse Me

St. Brendan’s Psychiatric Hospital, Grangegorman, Dublin Fringe Fringe Festival 2009

In this engrossing piece of theatre, White and Nic Chonaonaigh give beautiful performances, sometimes fierce and other times fragile. White and Nic Chonaonaigh are playing with some really fascinating concepts in a highly evocative context. The material is original, intriguing and important.

Fintan Walsh, IRISH THEATRE MAGAZINE, September 2009

 

A combination of immersive experiences (lavender incense and candle-filled rooms) and dense literary monologues . . . the vignettes of past case-histories eventually provides the viewer with a visceral narrative focus. . . .performers Kate Nic Chonaonaigh and Louise White seem to be evoking a time long past.. . . An intriguing piece.

Sara Keating, THE IRISH TIMES, September 2009

 

Background Photo: Rua Photography