It takes great acting to pull off a short, intense drama like this. But Josh Sticklin, who also starred in last year’s production of Basra Boy, is able to create the magic once again in Cuchullain. Bristling with positive energy in a hopeless cause, Sticklin’s Aaron is still full of life, ready, willing, and able to face each day’s obstacles with a fresh face and a new plan.
Sticklin excels as well as a mimic in his brief portrayals of other characters whether friends or foes. He’s like a classic storyteller, but one who can’t sit still for a minute. It’s his very hyperactivity and unwillingness to give up that gets the audience on his side and keeps them there even though they know that, in the end, he’s probably not going to make it to the age of thirty—or twenty-five—anyway.
Sticklin gets a considerable assist from Abigail Isaac, his director here and his director last year as well in Basra Boy. A one-man play is always a tour-de-force for any actor who chooses to take one on. But without a director to provide a mirror-image and feedback during rehearsals, a play like this might not really come together for several performances. The team of Sticklin and Isaac headed that problem off at the pass, and from day one, Keegan’s audiences have been able to keenly enjoy the results.