Sorcha bursts through the doors out of her wedding reception and takes a deep breath. This happens to her from time to time, when she feels dislocated from her own life and doesn’t feel as happy as she expected to. As happy as she planned for because, after all, she’s been planning this wedding since school.
Writer and performer Sarah-Jane Scott is Sorcha, one of those young women who appear to have it all sorted out. She’s just married Marty, the local sporting hero, played County at hurling no less, she knows just how to dress, how to behave, and has planned this wedding ‘like preparing for war’ – almost literally. She’s shown her fearsome organisational abilities already in ensuring she gets exactly the ring she wants, so it’s perfect for their engagement picture – this is the Irish wedding for the Instagram generation.
Scott is superb as Sorcha, fast talking, witty, absolutely sure of what she wants and determined to get it. She feels that marriage will change everything, will fulfil her dreams and her happiness will be complete. Except she hasn’t stopped to question what she wants since she decided on it back at school. Scott cleverly allows that emerging disconnect to flicker just below Sorcha’s consciousness, until key moments like this wedding when she finds herself standing outside alone, watching what is going on and wondering why she doesn’t feel as she expected to.
The specificity of the references are wonderful, a few will no doubt go over the heads of a non-Irish audience, but they are also what make the show so real, and the set pieces of the Debs ball and the hen night are a delight. Scott captures an Ireland rushing to modernity, but still with parochial concerns, where being a GAA girlfriend is the height of glamour, and family pressures are well-meaning but oppressive.
Scott has created a memorable character in Sorcha, socially smart but without an inner awareness, a bit of a bridezilla, but more fragile than she realises. It is a memorable hour in her company.