Near FM Ireland, June 2012
Set in a seedy Dublin cafe, Denis Byrne's play takes place one morning
when Kevin, a young drug-addict and his girlfriend Jane come in and demand a cup of tea and egg sandwiches. Marie, the
cafe-owner, demands 10 Euros in payment, but the couple don't have the money to pay. In desperation Kevin tries to rob
the till, but at ten o'clock in the morning there's nothing there to steal.
Despite Kevin's aggression, it is Marie who remains in control of the situation.
Through a combination of firmness and gentle questioning, she discovers that both Kevin and Jane come from well-to-do yet
emotionally turbulent backgrounds; neither of their parents have really listened to them, and they have both suffered abuse,
both physical and mental. Hence they have turned to drugs for solace.
However Marie has direct first-hand experience of what drugs can do to an individual,
so she altruistically sets about trying to persuade both youngsters to try and come off them. The process is not an
easy one - at times the play is almost too emotionally raw to listen to - but eventually her persistence pays off, and the
two resolve to try to reform. There can be no hope of permanent success, it is true, but it is beneficial for them -
both emotionally as well as phsyically - to make the effort.
Performed with utter conviction by the three-person cast (I wish I could name them,
but could not find any credits online - perhaps Near FM would like to supply them), Poodles is an uncompromising
yet ultimately life-enhancing piece.