When Niamh Shaw began to scrawl what was clearly some class of mathematical formula on the floor of Bewley’s Café Theatre, this reviewer’s knee-jerk reaction was: Oh, crap! No, not science!
Shaw is passionate about her subject and if an audience has to be lectured about string theory by a performer she is certainly the best woman for the job. Quantum physics has become increasingly interested in finding God, insofar as She can be expressed in a particle, and Shaw does a beautiful job of poignantly, and yes, scientifically, exploring her own life based on myriad models, which in turn invites us to explore the roads we ourselves have not taken.
The multi-media aspect of the show, while intrinsic to it, is less well realised. The series of videos work conceptually, but not always in practice, as Shaw spends far too much time in halflight. While this too may be conceptually correct in some form, it doesn’t work from a viewer’s perspective. Shaw is far too engaging to be left fighting her way out of the gloom; rectify this issue and she’s got a lovely piece that is successful in several dimensions.