My Left Nut

Written by Michael Patrick & Oisín Kearney

 

The hit of the Dublin Fringe Festival 2017 comes to Greystones!

“laughing one minute, crying the next… a terrific performance of a touching story” The Sunday Times ★ ★ ★ ★

“My Left Nut is what fringe theatre is all about; it’s an hour of fresh, pure entertainment that shouldn’t be missed”
The Reviews Hub ★ ★ ★ ★

“heart-warming and charming, a documentation of the struggle to find one’s true self in the face of personal trauma” TN2 ★ ★ ★ ★

 

Developed through the Show in a Bag programme, supported by Fishamble: The New Play Company Irish Theatre Institute (ITI) and The Dublin Fringe Festival with additional support from Prime Cut Productions Reveal programme.

 

Current tour produced by Prime Cut Productions and Pan Narrans Theatre

 

Michael (Mick) is a young adolescent in post-conflict Belfast. His father died in 1998,

during the tentative steps of the Good Friday Agreement. He enjoys walks along the
Lagan Towpath, holidays to Donegal every Twelfth of July, and talking bollox with his
friends.

When one of his mates suggests that he try sticking his finger up his bum whilst
masturbating, Mick reluctantly gives it a go. In doing so, Mick discovers a lump on his
left testicle.The lump grows at an alarming rate to the size of a grapefruit, but Mick
tries ignoring it. He is distracted by other things – such as the need to shave the hairs
on his upper lip.

Mick’s gang of mates, as charmingly sympathetic and well-informed as he is, take the
bulge in his trousers to be a sign of his prowess. For his part, Mick interprets it as
punishment from God, “tangled up with wanking”. Unable to confide in his mother,
he keeps it to himself and relies on excruciating discoveries via a dial-up internet
connection.

He tries a number of methods: draining it, squeezing it, cold showers, hot baths, ice
packs, deep heat, and even dipping his testicle in the Holy Water from Lourdes.
Finally, he decides to stop wanking. As Mick gets more worried, he silently struggles
with the untimely death of his father, and fears that he has contracted testicular
cancer and will die soon.

Mick’s relationship with his mother is strained as he feels that he cannot talk to her
about the things preoccupying his adolescent mind. Whenever she buys him the
wrong razor, he swears at her and shouts ‘You don’t know what you’re doing, do
you?’

Isolated and anxious, Mick must get beyond his toxic masculinity and inability to
voice his concerns. In a conversation with his mother about how his Dad came to be
diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease, Mick finally admits to her that he has had a
swelling on his testicle for some time. His mother slips into coping mode: ‘Right,
we’ll get that sorted.’

Mick meets multiple doctors, a nurse who shaves his pubic hair, an ultra-sound
technician who refuses to diagnose him. All the while, in the house kitchen and
hospital waiting rooms, Mick has deeper candid discussions with his grief-stricken
yet stoic mother, that reveal new nuggets of information about his father’s death.
One night, he finds his mother asleep on the couch, with a book about how to raise
boys, lying on the ground beside her.

Left in limbo over his own fate, Mick attends his friend’s house party and tackles the
perils of girls, 2000s dance-moves, and flagons of cider. He deals his problems like
lots of Irish teenagers – through binge drinking. Inevitably, he drinks too much and
vomits all over his friend’s garden. In this low-point, Mick’s friend interrogates him,
and Mick reveals that he thinks he has ‘ball cancer’. The party is quickly dispersed as
the parents return and chase the teenagers away, and Mick feels a little less alone.
Soon after, Mick goes into hospital for his results and discovers that what he has is
not cancer, but a hydrocele testis – a buildup of 400 millilitres of fluid due to a
defunct absorbing membrane, that can be fixed easily by surgery. Mick rejoices as he
awakens to find ‘two tiny testicles’ and his thoughts turn to his mother, who had lost
the man she loved and had always managed to keep it together for her children. He
finds her in the kitchen, white as a sheet: ‘I thought you were your father. I’d
thought he’d come home’. Mick realizes his role as ‘man of the house’, and proceeds
to shave.

 

 

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