Teenage disaffection has a more upbeat tone in “Cuchullain,” a one-actor show that careens through a seedy Belfast cityscape populated by vibrant eccentrics. Performer Josh Sticklin, who infused “Basra Boy” with humor and zest, is equally irresistible as the hedonistic 19-year-old Aaron, whose idea of gainful employment is doing drugs in the park and then convincing a social services office that he is mentally ill (and thus deserving of generous welfare support).
the character is so exuberant and oddly innocent that to share his company is to be caught up in an exhilarating whirl of adventure, impish defiance and consoling camaraderie. (“Basra Boy” director Abigail Isaac repeats her staging duties here.)”
Jenkinson’s script brims with slangy poetry and infectious rhythms. Aaron describes a nurse’s eyes as “spinnin’ around like two fruits in a slot machine,” and he hears sea gulls “cryin’ high like banshees” as he escapes a crime scene in a car that’s “a rave-on-wheels.” Shimmying up a flagpole to steal an Irish tricolor, skidding down a park slope while high on pills — whatever he’s doing, Aaron seems to experience life in a rush of intensity. Watching him, we do, too.