Handbag (2000)

‘Handbag’ by Mark Ravenhill (Crypt Arts Centre, Feb) (IP)

Mark Ravenhill’s fourth play received its Irish premiere in the Crypt Arts Centre in Dublin from Jan 19th to Feb 5th 2000. It became a hit shortly after opening and attracted a mainly younger audience who had heard of Ravenhill or had seen his famous Shopping and Fucking when it played in Dublin over a year previously.

Cast: Kate Pierce (Maurettea/Augusta), Anna Swords-Murphy (Suzanne/Constance), Adam Goodwin (David/Moncrieff), Paul Keeley (Tom/Cardew), Yvonne Ó Hara (Lorraine/Prism) and Patrick O’ Toole (Phil).

Directed by Peter Hussey, with set design by Joanie Murphy, Costumes by Wilma Warner O’ Keeffe and Sarah Kearney.

Excerpts from reviews:

“This strong and intelligent production, directed with verve by Peter Hussey and performed with nuance and conviction by its strong ensemble cast, handle with ease the narrative twists and turns of Ravenhill’s play. Moreover, they inject their alternating roles with humour and warmth, deftly catching the shifting intensities of ravenhill’s play as it bounces between in-yer-face sexual satire – complete with graphic simulation – socio-political commentary and bleak drama verite. A difficult, provocative and at times very funny play, Crooked House’s production of Handbag makes for a smart and daring piece of theatre.”

The Sunday Tribune

“Crooked House’s choice of play – one from a voguish playwright with intriguing Irish connections – suggests a wide-awake company.”

– Luke Clancy, London Times.

“This is a company that takes on very difficult plays that challenge notions of identity, of gender, of sexuality. And so this play, Handbag, is part of that. It’s a very brave mission and it’s a strong company. There’s such commitment and intelligence from them in terms of their performance and also in terms of the direction that it’s really interesting to watch.”

– Jocelyn Clarke, The Arts Show, RTE Radio One.