Grace O’Leary from Cork, Ireland wrote the play “What Colour Was Her Blood” and teamed up with Scottish actress Julie Parton to deliver a 30 minute version of the play at Manchester’s No Part Of, an edgy arts festival. Following the success of the play she developed the story further to a full hour long story about a young woman who reunites with her mother who walked out on her 20 years ago when she was only 4.
Tonight in Preston, I was in the audience of the full hour long performance.
The storyline of a Mother, Jackie (Julie Parton) and Daughter, Siobhan (Grace O’Leary) getting back together after Jackie walker out on Siobhan and her father years before is gripping from the word go, the story unfolds slowly, with steady progression and sudden dramatic and thrilling twists I won’t spoil for you. All I will say is that there is a sharp, shocking end to the story that left me wanting more.
Having never been to a two person play before I was worried about the dynamics of how it would work. The actresses took turns to tell the audience of their characters most inner and darker motives, while the other froze.
Both actresses put in a brilliant performance that was clearly seen and heard from my chosen place at the back of the Hall. The emotions and body language portrayed had me feeling like I was in the story with them, a person sat near them perhaps, or a fly on the wall.
My Mother and your Mother…
“My Mother and your Mother went out picking sloes. My mother gave your mother a punch in the NOSE. What colour was her blood? R-E-D, red. You’re out!”
The inclusion of the playground rhyme, from which the title is taken, is spoken in playgrounds across the North and South of Ireland by young girls. In this play it is given a dark and twisted edge that sends chills down your spine and brings to light the harshness of the rhyme which as a child doesn’t impact on you the seriousness of the words.
In my opinion this was a fantastic bit of written work, carried out by two fantastic actresses that I am sure will take this piece further. A truly gripping piece that has convinced me to start attending theatre productions, which I haven’t done since Primary School. I wish Julie and Grace every success.