- Read the full NY Times review / Click here
- Video (adult content) / Watch a scene from 'Little Gem' / Click here
A new young Irish playwright has received a tremendous review from The New York Times for her first U.S. production. The play's iconic moment is when a working class Dublin granny goes to a sex shop store to buy a vibrator after her husband has a stroke.
Charles Isherwood in The Times writes: “’Little Gem,’ a new play by Elaine Murphy that arrives at the Flea Theater trailing accolades from Dublin and Edinburgh, lives up to its title.... Intimately told and beautifully acted, Ms. Murphy’s play unfolds in alternating monologues, as three generations of Irish women greet life’s travails with strength, humor and the occasional vodka and Diet Coke."
"Ms. Murphy juxtaposes the comedy, the heartache and the carrying-on with a deft hand, so that sentimentality is kept at bay. By the play’s end we’ve come to see all three of these women’s lives from a complete perspective....Love and death, troubled matrimony and unwanted maternity are the major subjects, but there are diverting comic digressions throughout, as when Kay (Anita Reeves), the senior member of the family, whose husband is still recovering from a stroke, imparts her daring decision to purchase a vibrator and then her fumbling attempts to put it to use"
Murphy is a new name on the stage, a working class Dubliner from the city's North Side who was working as a receptionist at a phone company and decided to try acting classes. Her play 'Little Gem' began as a monologue she wrote for one of her acting parts.
"I come from the north side of Dublin,"she told the Sunday Tribune,"and I've noticed that when you go to the theatre there are so few working class Dublin women in plays, unless they're hookers or criminals. I still work part-time in a women's health organization and 'Little Gem' is basically about all the women I've met. They're hard working... not rich, not poor. There's huge number of women in between the 'Irish mammy' and the latte-drinking professional young woman. In the play, the grandmother character Kay goes into Ann Summers to buy a vibrator. These days the grannies have better social lives than the kids."