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Little Thing, Big Thing

Members say: Clever, Dated, Delight, Well acted, Absorbing
81
Critics
81
16 reviews
Members
79
2 reviews
 

Irish new play company Fishamble presents a darkly comic thriller about an ex-con and a nun who are chased across Ireland for a roll of film.

... Read more

In Nigeria, a frightened child puts an old roll of film into the hands of Dublin-bound teacher Sister Martha. In Dublin, ex-con Larry, plans his last heist. Meanwhile, Scarab Oil plans to unleash its new clean fuel of the future. As Martha's roll of film attracts the urgent interest of some very powerful and ambitious people, she and Larry take a high octane jump into the brutal world of international energy skullduggery and awaken passions they thought were long behind them.

 

Cast & Creatives (8)



Reviews (18)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
81
Avg Score

85
The New York Times

"This is a cloak-and-dagger comedy with a pure but unsentimental heart and a social conscience that takes the action to some somber places...'Little Thing, Big Thing' seems to be a bit of a shaggy-dog tale. Not so. A play about goodness, guilt and the willingness to get away with anything, it has an ending that will stop you short, right before it makes you think." Full Review

60
Theatermania

"O'Kelly packs a lot of convoluted plot (as well as Joycean phraseology) into 80 minutes. By the end, it feels as though loose ends have been tied up quickly not for the story's sake but for the sake of its two actors who seem like they could collapse from exhaustion...Ultimately, 'Little Thing, Big Thing's' plot feels too big and ambitious for a play so small. Its surprisingly dark climax also leaves us wishing that O'Kelly had chosen to keep the ending in Joyce's essentially comic realm." Full Review

65
Lighting & Sound America

"Even as one admires the multitasking actors and the clever, fast-moving narrative, 'Little Thing, Big Thing' too often offers frantic action in place of suspense and emotional involvement...O'Kelly has cooked up quite a yarn, but he hasn't managed to make the resolution of it -- and the fates of its hero and heroine -- into something emotionally binding. This is a diversion that merely diverts, leaving an aftertaste of dissatisfaction." Full Review

90
Theatre's Leiter Side

"The play’s narrative requires that you pay very close attention; following its many twists and turns, and keeping tabs on who’s speaking at any time, isn’t easy...Happily, both Mr. O’Kelly and Ms. Fox are impressively animated, using their flexible faces and bodies with marked versatility. Director Jim Culleton does exceptional work." Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"O'Kelly and Fox switch from one character to another with lightning speed throughout the lickety-split proceedings. They return with equal lightning speed to Larry and Martha. On the varying accents and modulations they're whizzes...At a time when too many playwrights cater to audiences' lack of concentration, it's a pleasure to encounter one who flatters patrons by expecting them to absorb what's put before them." Full Review

90
Times Square Chronicles

"Laura Savia’s directing is clean and allowed the audience to feel the entrapment and ask their own questions. All four actors brought authenticity to their performance, and even though we knew this was going to end up badly we still had hope for them...It is no wonder E. M. Lewis won the Primus Prize for her writing of this soul jarring play. I hope to see more of her work." Full Review

90
Talkin' Broadway

"Between Mr. O’Kelly’s very skillful writing and his and Ms. Fox's terrific performances under Jim Culleton’s direction, 'Little Thing, Big Thing' grabs hold at the start and never lets go, a real treat for anyone who has ever been enthralled by the ability of language and impeccable acting to touch the mind and the heart." Full Review

90
BlogCritics.org

"It is a tale which ends with a riveting conclusion...O’Kelly’s convoluted plot complications are ironed out by the denouement to serve the dynamic and powerful revelations of theme...Overall, the production is a worthy one and highly entertaining with a devastating and memorable ending. The content, themes, and acting do not disappoint." Full Review

80
On Stage Blog

"The short version is, I liked it, you should see it if you can find the time...O’Kelly’s play is, overall, highly enjoyable, and the however that is about to follow is purely for the sake of Aristotelian critical discourse, rather than an indictment of the mirth-giving powers of the show. However, I get the distinct impression that ‘Little Thing’ would have worked better as a film...It’s an ectopic romp with political edge and well-insulated wit. What it lacks in scale it makes up for in per... Full Review

80
New York Theatre Guide

"Donal O’Kelly wrote and plays several parts in this two-person show opposite Sorcha Fox, an equally gifted actor. O’Kelly and Fox work together seamlessly. Their banter is delightfully done...O’Kelly and Director Jim Culleton have avoided going Hollywood with this piece, and they tell this story using just two actors." Full Review

95
Stage Buddy

"Outstanding performances succeed in filling out the framework of both the main and minor roles with depth, pathos and believability. Part crime caper, part road play, 'Little Thing, Big Thing' takes us on a wildly imaginative tour from the beautifully rugged County Mayo to the River Liffey and scene-setting landmarks of Dublin. In other parts, playwright O'Kelly's language is rich and colorful enough to rival sentences lifted from the pages of Flann O'Brien or James Joyce...A must-see." Full Review

70
TheaterScene.com

"Two of the most endearing, beguiling, twist-round-your-little-finger Irish performers you’d ever have the pleasure to meet and if it wasn’t for the sheer earnestness of them you’d wonder how they ever had the gall to dash through the balderdash they dash through...And if it wasn’t for the indefatigable charm the two of them positively ooze, you’d be sorely tempted to vent razzes. Ye gods, what a yarn." Full Review

75
Exeunt Magazine

"The plot can sometimes be hard to follow due to the fast-paced changes in environment and personalities, as well as a slightly cumbersome backstory involving an oil company, Nigerian politics and a murder. But largely, the show drives unstoppably forward, with an infectious, unstoppable momentum powered by the dynamic and endlessly energetic pair at the helm...You’ll have to forgive the occasional overstep. This is a small production in many ways but it has a big heart." Full Review

90
Irish Times

for a previous production "Director Jim Culleton’s enjoyable production can effectively do no wrong. The bright vim of genre formulae allows the writer every narrative contrivance, coincidence and implausibility...Playwright O’Kelly finesses this deceptively breezy, carefully constructed story with his signature imagistic, action-oriented approach to language." Full Review

85
No More Workhorse

for a previous production "This is an enjoyable fast paced play that never lets you catch your breath...The writing is impressive in this new work and there are many great comedic moments contained within...If you’re looking for a delicately played thriller, look elsewhere, but if it’s light hearted fun with a touch of madness you’re after, it’s here in spades." Full Review

80
The Irish Independent

for a previous production "The central thesis of O'Kelly's play is that the oil industry is deadly, not because it causes atmospheric pollution, but because it is corrupt and prepared to commit murder...It's not very effective as anti-oil industry propaganda. But, as a caper, it's entertaining enough if not totally engaging." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
79
Avg Score

75
Absorbing, Clever, Dizzying, Dated, Well acted

See it if you like suspense stories, a la Hitchcock. BTLT is crowded w/characters (played by 2 actors) who have a roll of secret film to deliver.

Don't see it if you want a meaningful, coherent plot. But if you like a wild ride, you'll have fun. And the acting is solid.

Also I'm catching up on old reviews. BTLT was engaging, but the convoluted ... Read more Read less

88
Cliched, Delight

See it if awesome

Don't see it if do it