Makaronik review: Futuristic story of choice, identity and self-preservation is clearly told
Festival goes futuristic at the Lyric, where Aisling Ghear's Makaronik propels audiences forwards to the year 2084, where the Empire rules the world, and only Empirish may be spoken. All other languages are 'dead dead', and all traces of them must be eradicated.
Makaronik is the last woman living in Belfast - no longer a vibrant city, but a desolate wilderness. Empire guards Diarmuid and Grainne come calling - in their Blakes Seven tracksuit tops and knee boots - to ensure that the Irish language archive is put into storage. They're telling Makaronik to bury her identity and her culture.
Dave Duggan's drama is performed predominately in Irish. But the story itself- of choice, self-preservation and identity - is clearly told. Makaronik (Liz Fitzgibbon) wins over Grainne (Mary Conroy), who chooses to stay in Belfast rather than return to the soulless life in the Empire. Diarmuid (Cillian O Gairbhi) hesitates - he represents the pressures felt by humans under siege.
Performed on a set dotted with coloured screens and metal data banks, and overseen by three projectors which plot the memory banks which surround the characters, this futuristic drama has its roots very much in the past. Or as they might say in Empirish, Irish a go-go.