Gutted - a ★★★★ fillet of life

☆★★★★ Gutted
Sharon Byrne, writer and producer of Gutted, draws on her upbringing and early life growing up in Dublin in the 1980s, living close to a fish factory and imagining the going-ons inside.
Cleverly set in the stark-white theatre space of the Irish Cultural Centre, lighting designer Marty Langthorn has created an alternative ensemble of lights. These effectively play and support the three superb actors, Niamh Finlay, Sarah Hosford and Eleanor Byrne, who engage in a fascinating story.
Quoting the synopsis, Gutted is ‘told through comic monologue, powerful raw language, movement and dance, the women give us a snapshot of the characters and challenges in their lives at the time. In light of Ireland's recent referendum on abortion, these issues remain as relevant today as they were over 30 years ago.'
Very quickly we are occupied with and invested in the struggles, personalities and heart-wrenching realities of Deidre, Dolores and Breda, together with a myriad of other characters beautifully brought to life by a series of interlocking vignettes. Using the other actors, and assorted lighting, as a chorus to comment and support the unfolding stories.
Without flinching, Gutted explores themes of family, trust, love and loss. It also launches headlong into issues of domestic violence and abortion. Particularly distressing, yet beautifully and sensitively handled by Niamh Findlay, was the scene of child abuse – an authentic tour de force performance of exquisite sensitivity, once again enhanced by Marty Langthorn's inspirational lighting.
While Gutted challenges seriously, it is also hilarious. It is heightened with some laugh-out-loud moments, sharpened with great music, and some gloriously outrageously-drawn imagery – no spoilers here! We explore the lighter side of our women's lives as they discover sex, contraception, pregnancy, pulling and leaving fish filleting for a new life in a one-bedroom flat in Kilburn!
Deftly directed by Chris White, Gutted is structurally intelligent - decisively penetrating and smart, unquestionably insightful and a deeply moving piece of chic, original writing.

Written by Sharon Byrne
Directed by Chris White
Produced by Vivienne Foster and Sharon Byrne
Lighting by Marty Langthorn
Choreography by Jess Boyd
Costumes by Sorcha Corcoran 

Gutted tour continues

Monday 14 October 2019
The Pumphouse Theatre, Local Board Road, Watford, WD17 2JP
Performance time: 8pm
Tickets: £15
Tuesday 15 October 2019
The Hawth Studio, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6YZ
Performance time: 7.45pm
Tickets: £15 plus booking fee
Wednesday 16 October 2019
Maud, Hoe Street, Walthamstow, London, E17 4QH
Performance time: 8pm
Tickets: £15 and £12.50 plus booking fee
Thursday 17 October 2019
Astor Community Theatre, Stanhope Road, Deal, CT14 6AB
Performance time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £15-£18
Booking: 01304 370220 or
Friday 18 October 2019
Old Town Hall Theatre, High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AE
Performance time: 8pm
Tickets: £15 / £13 / £10.50
Booking: 01422 228091  
Saturday 19 October 2019
Exchange Studio at The Hazlitt Theatre, Earl Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1PL
Performance time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £16.50
Monday 21 October 2019
The Electric Theatre, Guildford, GU1 4SZ
Performance time: 8pm
Tickets: £17 and £15 plus booking fee
Booking: 01483 501200 or  
Friday 25 October 2019
The Dugdale Studio Centre, London Road, Enfield, EN2 6DS
Performance time: 8pm
Tickets: £16.50
Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 October 2019
Omnibus Theatre, Clapham Common North Side, London, SW4 0QW
Performance time: 7.30pm