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The Pinot Princess | Omnibus Theatre

The Pinot Princess, written by Lorraine Mullaney and directed by Deirdre Daly, is a dark comedy that uses its platform to raise several interesting questions in a rather unique and creative way. Struggling actors Pinot (Pamela Flanagan) and Joe (Neal Craig) are currently performing in a show that reimagines the Virgin Mary as a punk princess, and this interweaves with their own lives both personally and professionally. 

The play has two interesting premises, firstly with the effects of public opinion both in person and online, affecting the performances and portraying how art can often be misinterpreted. Secondly, the religious guilt and responsibility that Pinot feels burdened by due to her relationship with her mother.  However, the play tries to tackle too much in depth and ultimately misses the mark in both regards. Although it makes several compelling points, particularly during a well-written controversial interview (Lizzie Mounter), the self-aware jokes unfortunately takes you away from the momentum. A few of the scenes become repetitive and raises questions that still feel quite muddled. 

The stage is a traverse stage with a thoughtful set design by Phyllida Hickish, Frankie Vicente and Deirdre Daly. One half of the stage has been dedicated to setting up a smaller stage, complete with its own flyers and props for the play about Virgin Mary and the other half the dressing room. The dressing room is piled with old bottles, a vanity mirror, costumes and other assorted knick knacks in a rather impressive chaotic mess. Daly has utilised this split staging very well, with a simultaneous scene with Joe on stage and Pinot in the dressing room, working the two storylines against one another in a rather genius decision. 

Flanagan does an incredible job, bringing the inner turmoil of Pinot through her public persona with a haunting quality. Flanagan handles the demanding role with ease, and shines in the role. Craig is a brilliant counterpart, with his more explosive and emotional personality. A more relatable, and at times likeable, character, he helps to ground the show. 

The Pinot Princess has the potential to become a strong show and with some reworking, it could become a truly remarkable commentary. Overall, it's an engaging show, with some brilliant creative decisions and a talented cast. The Pinot Princess is currently playing at the Omnibus Theatre until the 14th of April - for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Samuel Brooks


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