No doubt you’ll have heard of the movie named Belfast. It has certainly put my home city on the artistic map. The portrayal of a childhood memory dwells on the sectarian tensions rife in some areas and more subtly apparent in others. Unfortunately, the city that launched the Titanic (which was alright when it left here) is now submerged in sectarian and political controversy and has been since well before my birth.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the ‘Troubles’ are the only cross we have to bear when our society, like so many others, endures the scars of domestic violence, homelessness and underachievement in education.
Thugs don’t always carry guns or wear balaclavas. Sometimes, they wear a suit and sit at our tables, creating a hollowed-out hunger that no amount of food can satisfy. These issues are more commonplace than many would admit, and they are most definitely not determined by geography.
But how do we overcome them?
Cathy Carson’s one-woman show, Becoming Marvellous, is a tale of growing up with an alcoholic father in a Belfast home, where mental abuse graduated to physical abuse resulting in homelessness and fractured relationships. Cathy’s writing, which she performs in the character of Danielle, shines a light on what many do not and will not speak of.
I’ve seen Cathy perform before and have enjoyed her journey from page to stage and have often thought that her performances are like open-heart surgery where she reaches into your very being and squeezes your heart for every last drop of emotion. She certainly did that on her opening night, giving us space to catch our breath with comical sides before delving into our feelings again and again.
Her perfectly served performance delivered unfiltered emotions, and for me, the overwhelming message was the importance of ‘trust’. She skillfully portrayed the carnage and lasting damage created with the absence of trust and the enormity of what can be achieved when it is established and care is offered and accepted.
Cathy speaks for many through the voice of Danielle. Cathy is marvellous.
Becoming Marvellous is coming to Birmingham on 29 April at The Blue Orange Theatre, in the Jewellery Quarter. You won’t want to miss this gem!
Also scheduled for 20 July at the Stamford Arts Centre – tickets not yet on sale.