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The Scourge

From 9 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Profound, Resonant

About the show

Irish Rep presents the U.S. premiere of Michelle Dooley Mahon’s autobiographical drama about witnessing her mother fall victim to Alzheimer’s disease. More…

From the show:

“Death by a thousand cuts” – that’s how Michelle Dooley Mahon describes Alzheimer’s disease after witnessing it strike down her mother Siobhan. As Mahon relives that time, her humorous and moving memories and rapier-like observations introduce personalities, history, and a nostalgic archive of an ordinary Irish small-town family forced to become extraordinary in their attempt to cope.

The Scourge takes audiences on a journey like no other, a beautiful dedication of a daughter giving voice to a mother sadly silenced before her time.

Member Reviews (9)


Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Profound, Resonant
Avg Score

Bildungsroman, Unsophisticated staging, Heavy brogue, Absorbing, Slow

See it if you like one-person bio, filled w/humor, pathos, love. Wandering story (time/place), told in heavy accent. Requires constant attn.

Don't see it if you want polished, creative staging. Doll used as major prop. Movt in-out of cupboard. Freqt snippets of music. Not for me, but aud liked it

Intense, Thought-provoking, Profound, Absorbing

See it if If you want a play about a daughter taking care of her mother for 7 years. Resonant and real good at times.

Don't see it if Thick accent makes it difficult to here at times. If you want a lite humorous play.

Ambitious, Intense, Resonant, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if A torrent of words, words, words (both poetic & purple) imbues Mahon's monodrama about her mother's demise via dementia w/an abject ferocity

Don't see it if Mahon has chosen to never raise her vocal quality/demeanor causing a near Becket-like stance It often strips any emotionality out of piece

Poetic, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if Middle-aged Irish daughter works through her grief by delivering poetic monologue of caretaking the mother who once was taking care of her.

Don't see it if Peculiar use of stage set/props and choice not to reach catharsis by raging above a thickly accented whisper, distances the lament.

Also Title references both the monologuist and the disease.

Thought-provoking, Riveting, Resonant, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You want to se a moving, sad, and realistic portrait of a woman watching her mother decline from Alzheimer’s for 7 years.

Don't see it if If you have lost someone through dementia, this play can trigger your sadness.

Relevant, Absorbing, Profound

See it if You want to hear a beautiful story/monologue about the importance of honoring people as they are passing on /dying.

Don't see it if You don't care for one person shows

Also How is it that the Irish have the gift of making even the most mundane... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Poetic, Absorbing

See it if you want an uplifting one-person performance about death, Alzheimer's, and mental health issues. Much of the language is poetic.

Don't see it if The Irish accent and colloquialisms made it challenging to follow at times. Given the topic, there was not much emotion.

Thought-provoking, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if You allow yourself to be moved by stories of alzheimers. And you can focus on a very harsh brogue, with lots of quick flowing monologues.

Don't see it if YOu don't like a one man show or are uncomfortable with the topice.

Profound, Intelligent, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a play with a very moving and very relevant story. Very good actress. Thought provoking. Powerful.

Don't see it if You don’t like one-person shows, have trouble with Irish accents/slang. It can be upsetting so be prepared.

January 23rd, 2020
"When Daughter Becomes Mother in The Scourge: Michelle Dooley Mahon's solo play at Irish Rep recounts her experiences caring for her mother during her battle with Alzheimer's."
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January 23rd, 2020
"Mahon's voice seldom rises above a mezzo forte and she frequently delivers entire passages in a voice barely louder than a whisper. But she doesn't need volume to make her point. It's with her words that she heals herself and, by extension, she heals us too."
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January 23rd, 2020
"LIGHT AND DARK: Michelle Dooley Mahonshows a gift for painting evocative pictures with words in her worthwhile solo show."
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January 31st, 2020
Score: 92% "The brutally honest self-observation, the wit, lilt, and poetry of her language is a draw that brings the audience into the over-stuffed wardrobe of Michelle and her experiences and lets the love that gets buried under the mess of life get exposed."
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