WATCH: Amanda Coogan is hilariously wonderful in #DearIreland’s ‘Windowpane’
The Abbey Theatre’s “Dear Ireland” four-part digital theatre series began on Tuesday evening. While the entire first part was wonderful with impeccable performances from a wealth of Irish talent, Shane O’Reilly’s superb ‘Windowpane’ starring performance artist, friend and fellow CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) Amanda Coogan, who performs this piece which celebrates #IrishSignLanguage, is a standout
She’s so expressive you can’t help but stare as she painstakingly washes her window; she’s staring out and we’re staring in as she tells us of her worries. These tales are full of flare and banter, both hilarious and of the now as she and her husband remain at home, him “not himself”, he didn’t care when she found the wedding dress she’s now mortified she wore at all.
Her daughter in Australia, telling her not to worry but it’s impossible now. She fears she won’t reply so she has to be light, breezy and funny – “taking out garbage…so excited! Trying to decide what to wear LOL” – even though she feels the exact opposite.
Related: Abbey Theatre launches their free digital theatre series tonight, featuring Brendan Gleeson, Sinead Burke and Emmet Kirwan
She can’t stand Maurice, who wants to set up an online book club, to “show us all how clever he is.”
Swear words are used (aplenty), her facial expressions are gold.
Vibrant and enigmatic
Coogan has been performing Irish Sign Language Interpreted Performances at the Abbey for 20 years and this is truly celebrated here; she is vibrant and enigmatic – I hardly looked at the words, for she said it all. Both worked perfectly in tandem together.
Though it must be said, the words are often just as beautiful: “With no flying, the world is getting bigger and bigger again.”
Of this collaboration between O’Reilly and Coogan, we wish it were longer. But it has lifted our mood absolutely.
Watch it below at 36 minutes and 27 seconds:
Main photograph: @AbbeyTheatre