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Pumpgirl

From 55 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Intense, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking

About the show

Irish Repertory Theatre presents this original story of rural life in Northern Ireland by Abbie Spallen, a multi-award winning Irish playwright making her Irish Rep debut.  More…

From the show:

In a gas station in Northern Ireland, barely north of the border, Pumpgirl gets few customers beyond lecherous men and cruel women who remark on her tomboyish appearance. Otherwise guarded, she has struck up a friendship with “no helmet Hammy” – an amateur stock-car racer who prefers to spend time with his unsavory buddies over his wife and children. As Hammy’s wife, Sinead, stays home alone, she simmers with rage over her isolated, disappointing existence. On Hammy’s birthday, their lives become perilously intertwined, leaving them face-to-face with a desperate future.


Member Reviews (55)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Intense, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking
80
Avg Score

76
Slow, Fluffy, Great acting, Absorbing, Clever

See it if If you want to see three very good actors tell their story. Sometimes annamated, sometimes too wordy, but effective direction makes thiswork

Don't see it if It can be depressing and slow. If you want an up beat show

90
Tragic, Deep, Resonant, Relevant, Intense

See it if 3 lonely souls in an isolated town seek relief. Superb characters, great acting, deep themes, & fresh perspective.

Don't see it if You don't want to see an intense tragedy presented by 3 intersecting monologues. Violence & sexual abuse. Irish accents.

Also (Spoiler alert) ..... The stage is divided into three sections. Stage ... Read more Read less

88
Must see, Great writing, Intense, Great acting, Riveting

See it if u want to see 3 gifted actors deliver confessionals (in colorful prose) as 3 aimless souls on their fatalistic search for love & acceptance.

Don't see it if you're not prepared for a Northern Irish (but really universal) story of hapless, small-town restlessness that is as bleak as it is vivid.

79
Resonant, Slow, Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if A trio of pitch perfect performances help to maintain an emotional balance in Spallen's saga of dead end rural life after the "Troubles"

Don't see it if Thick dialects & the monologue presentation sometimes makes for a static quality as the interlocking pieces of this dark drama come together

85
Gripping, Well written, Well played, Schematic structure, Smart

See it if you're interested in a serious take on the age-old problem of abusing men & the women who, for different reasons, "choose" to stay with them

Don't see it if you want a drama: This play is structured as 3 interweaving narratives about an unconventional love triangle.

Also Abbie Spallen’s “Pumpgirl” fits perfectly into Irish Rep’s downstairs ... Read more Read less

85
Thought-provoking, Raunchy, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if partners views: Great Acting by all 3/ Connections all there. Dark intense story, Clever mini sets. No deep accents. Open seating

Don't see it if could be confusing for some 3 solos open seating for some

79
Great staging, Great acting, Relevant, Intense, Dizzying

See it if you like monologues, here the story is told in pieces by the three characters who never interact. This is a good, realistic tale, well-acted

Don't see it if you want a happy theater experience. This is a sad story of rural life in Northern Ireland with what will be rough language for many.

84
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy Irish drama, stories reflecting coming of age in isolated towns, male-female relationships, love triangles, doomed romances

Don't see it if Not a fan of Irish plays, have trouble with accents, don’t like strictly monologue plays (albeit 3 simultaneously) or dark, bleak subjects

77
Dark, Slow, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Three people who are lonely, sad, with too much drama.

Don't see it if You looking for a happy, fun show, or action.

Also You are been told of that happening by three actors. They never talk t... Read more Read less

64
Intense, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if you like 3 monologues that are really very depressing without much results. The acting is good and the staging is effective.

Don't see it if you like a story that leads somewhere. These stories are each very depressing and involve sexual violence and suicide and unfaithfulness.

Also Molly Sweeney had 3 monologues but the story lead somewhere. Also very... Read more Read less

88
Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if you were a fan of "Molly Sweeney". "Pumpgirl" also uses, quite effectively, monologues to tell the story. Exquisite performances.

Don't see it if you don't like monolgues to tell a story.

Also Kudos to Irish Rep for unearthing this treasure of a play. Also, for r... Read more Read less

89
Intense, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if alternating monologues by 3 Irish characters whose stories intertwine, no direct dialogue between them; sad story of loneliness, longing

Don't see it if don't want intense story of infidelity, sexual assault; want uplifting; some brief parts where Irish accent or words might be confusing

85
Affecting acting, Excellent writing, Intimate, Intense

See it if Impending tragedy in a fine exploration of frustrated lives well-played in a confined space attracts you. Lyrical language, tight direction

Don't see it if You prefer not to see or hear of men’s violence & women’s complicity. Some lines lost to Irish accents.

68
Strong accents, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You like Irish plays, Irish sensibility. Small downstairs theater...interesting clever set.

Don't see it if You find Irish accents hard to understand, three characters, monologues, little interaction. Last fifteen minutes alot happens-confusing.

74
Intense, Great acting

See it if great acting in stories that unfold via monologues. well acted in a small space which works for this intimate work

Don't see it if need action This play is just telling us the story by individual characters and one has to piece it together.

85
Excruciating, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You want to see three great actors in monologues describing their part in yearning, loneliness, and searching for love in Northern Ireland.

Don't see it if You need uplifting stories or have trouble understanding Irish accents.

Also This is a devastating story of three interconnected lonely people tryi... Read more Read less

88
Well designed in a very intimate space, Tangled and unfulfilled relationships, Dark and intense, Tragicomedy, Terrific writing and three strong performances

See it if You like fine acting — and can appreciate a tri-monologue format. Enjoy intimate theatre.

Don't see it if Are bothered by language or issues of sexual assault or suicide.

66
Intense, Slow, Cliched

See it if you're a fan of monologues about working class people and their pains.

Don't see it if you need people to interact and not just recap what happened to an audience.

84
Edgy, Intense, Riveting, Great acting

See it if You admire great acting - monologues are challenging, but all 3 handle them deftly. Tough story well done!!

Don't see it if Sad Irish stories are not your thing.

80
Intense, Dizzying, Dark, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see something that leans closer to murder-ballad in tone and feel. You want to see some truly moving performances.

Don't see it if You dislike monologue style plays. Can't take anything very dark at this particular moment.

Also "And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time... Read more Read less

82
Slow, Confusing, Intense, Great acting

See it if you want to see an intense play surrounding 3 characters who's lives are intertwined but the show is done in monologues. Great performances!

Don't see it if the subject of sexual assault or suicide is triggering. The show is very confusing at times because of its structure.

87
Intense, Dark, Lyrical

See it if Astounding performances by young actors & a trio of gut punch storylines. As Irish as it gets-beautiful writing, depressing as hell story.

Don't see it if Don't like the tell /don't show all monologues storytelling format. Not a feel good play by any stretch of the imagination.

78
Emotional impact of great writing and acting

See it if for a wonderful playwright whose characters are finely drawn in a deeply moving, sad and at times funny story about being loved, or not

Don't see it if some strong language that is overtly sexual and implies emotional and physical violence (against women) will unsettle you

88
Shines a light on sexual assault and the harm it spreads in society., Intense, Great writing, Excruciating, Great acting

See it if If you're OK with Irish accents, you'll be blown away by the powerful impact of this triple monologue story of a sex assault and aftermath.

Don't see it if If you have lots of trouble with Irish accents, and/or can be triggered by talk of sexual violence, you might want to pass on this one.

78
Confusing, Intense, Great lighting, Well staged, Great acting

See it if you want a very serious play about twenty-somethings negotiating their difficult lives. Wonderful acting.

Don't see it if (a) Irish accents are hard to follow; (b) you don't want to hear a lot of cursing; (c) somewhat confusing to follow.


November 20th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK "‘Pumpgirl’ Review: Gas for Sale but Dreams on Hold An exquisite Irish Repertory Theater revival captures a trio of lost souls aching to connect in their constricting small town."
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November 14th, 2019
3/5 Stars "'All three performers impressively handle the tricky task of embodying emotion while also narrating it. But the lack of interaction among the characters becomes a hindrance as the drama attempts to generate momentum."
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November 14th, 2019
"'Pumpgirl' Zooms In on the Veiled Troubles in Rural Northern Ireland: Abbie Spallen's three-person play returns to New York City in a production with the Irish Repertory Theatre."
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November 19th, 2019
"Small Town Lives Yearning For Something More In Abbie Spallen's 'PUMPGIRL'"
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Cast & Creatives (3)