One month before his death, retired civil servant and man of few words Paddy O’Grady had a sudden urge to talk. Using a portable cassette tape recorder, he recorded 15 hours of stories about leprechauns, aliens and lonely pharmacists; absurdist political satire and musings on life, love and death.
In this new production Paddy’s granddaughter, Emma O’Grady, examines the fractured and fragile personas we present to the world, who we might be behind them, and who we could be instead. This is a piece about emotional inheritance and grief for wasted creativity that serves as both a tribute and a warning.
The staging itself is beautifully realised. Several audio speakers adorn the stage, with several hanging over the scene like a mechanical mobile, jarring with the cosiness of the set. Out of these speakers comes the voice of Paddy O’ Grady, and at times Emma herself. The effect is warm and intimate. Emma is her grandfather and she is telling his stories, but she never loses her own voice.
This production provides the audience with a feast of nostalgia, sentimentality, and a picture of relationships past and present. This is a play about family, but also about individuality. It makes for a great story. Paddy’s tapes are the focus of this piece, but it is Emma O’Grady’s skill as a performer that gives them new life.