Dylan Tighe: Record Half Moon Theatre, Cork Midsummer Festival

Dylan Tighe is a Dublin-based actor, director and musician.

Throughout his life, he has suffered from depression. Tighe has made his condition the subject of his debut album and stage show, Record.

Tighe is an engaging character, slight and bespectacled. As the show opens, he takes a seat at his desk, and projects various documents on an overhead screen: these include his birth certificate and medical records. As the action progresses, he is joined by other characters: a drummer (Conor Murray), a doctor (Daniel Reardon) and a nurse (Aoife Duffin).

Tighe is not afraid to portray himself in the depth of his depression, too catatonic to offer resistance when the nurse pulls down his trousers and underpants so the doctor can inject him.

He comes alive when he plugs in his guitar and sings. His indie rock compositions, such as ‘Lamotrigine’ and ‘Emergency’, are almost unbearably frank. ‘On The Ghost’, he sings: “I can’t afford to cry more tears within/I’ve cried whole reservoirs of them/I’m all cried out.”

If the songs are grim, their performance is anything but: Tighe knows the value of humour in treating a subject as serious as mental illness.

The final scenes, in which Tighe and his nurse re-locate to his doctor’s holiday home by the sea, are the stuff of fantasy.

Like many new shows, Record is, at two hours, a little long. But Tighe’s brutal honesty ensures it is a cathartic experience.

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