Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Woman's Drunken, 37-Minute Monologue "a Masterpiece of the Joycean Stream of Consciousness Form"

"And Another Thing," Inebriated Office Clerk Tells Enraptured Critics
The List, 25th June 2008

Critics heaped praise today on up-and-coming artist Eileen MacHendrie's astounding tour-de-force of narrative storytelling, currently running at the upmarket Hector's bar.

MacHendrie's astonishing performance, which began precisely 38 minutes ago with an impromtu critique of office politics in the modern workplace, covered an immense range of topics, from the interior design of the venue to her boyfriend Neil's suspect relationship with that little bitch he works with who's clearly desperate to get her claws into him. The harangue swung wildly from bathos and slapstick to grave introspection in a series of seemingly random digressions and flailing assaults on an invisible cast of offstage figures, all of whom appear to exist as a metaphor for persecution, rejection and alienation.

Critics were wowed by the ferocity of her intense, white wine fuelled performance, particularly the extended digression into MacHendrie's ferocious rivalry with Kate from accounts. "One moment I was convinced I was watching a genuinely obsessive and destructive psyche tearing itself apart with insecurity and irrational hostility," said Scotsman arts correspondent Eleanor Goodyear, "...But the ingenuity of the sudden tonal leap into light-hearted mockery of the barmaid's hairstyle stunned us all with its unexpectedness."

"Honestly, now I understand the critics who fell over themselves to praise the lyrical invention and humour of
Ulysses."

The understated delivery of MacHendrie's co-performer, long-time friend Janice Walker, has also attracted admiration for her capable imitation of the human reaction to increasing frustration and boredom, as her attempted interjections were remorselessly over-ruled, ignored and steamrollered. The audience were skillfully wrong-footed at the 24-minute mark, when Walker misinterpreted a mere pause for breath as an opportunity to respond, before her futile gambit was crushed mercilessly beneath the oncoming juggernaut of MacHendrie's forceful delivery.

The performance will continue in ninety seconds, when MacHendrie will return from the ladies' toilets with a four-minute rhetorical flagellation of Hector's toilet and hand-drying facilities.

That Office Is Full Of Wankers And My Boyfriend Is An Arsehole is playing for the next 43 minutes - admission free.

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