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True love story warms the heart

IF you hadn't met them, you'd probably think they were the world's most mundane couple. They live together in Crumlin, go shopping at Superquinn and sometimes to Tesco. They work, they socialise with friends and family and they go on holidays. They amaze and exasperate one another in equal measure. The fabric of their relationship is woven tight, knotted through with shared jokes, jibes over one's taste in art and the other's fondness for Nationwide and Michael Ryan.

After 28 years together, they can even anticipate each other's thoughts. Of course, they've had their ups and downs, their hearts scarred with the marks of betrayal, brushes with cancer and bereavement. In short, they're just like any other Irish couple in their mid-60s.

Except they're not. Alice and Alice are gay. Childhood friends who later became lovers, they exhibit a love for one another that is as boring, as exciting, as passionate, as frustrating and as real as any other union.

Bring a box of tissues for this one, because when you're not splitting your sides laughing, you'll be snivelling at the uncomplicated beauty of a very simple love story.


This is writer Amy Conroy's first stage play, and she cleverly presents it as a documentary. We're told how the normally circumspect Alice Kinsella and Alice Slattery share a kiss in Tesco that is spotted by a young writer looking for inspiration. She convinces the women to bare their souls for the purpose of theatrical dramatisation.

An impressive multi-tasker, Conroy also directs and performs this show, alongside her equally talented co-star Clare Barrett.

One minor quibble is that neither woman looks anywhere near 60 -- even with their horrendous wigs.

This HotForTheatre production is the warmest, richest, funniest and saddest story which hammers home a heart-warming message about real love. And at its centre are two magnificent characters.

Alice and Alice had the audience eating out of the palm of their hands -- these women aren't just cool, they also gave us cake, just like in your auntie's house.