What's it about?
Crackskull Row is an intense, dark comedy about a family in 1999. A family that has been brought together to confront the harshness of the past and endure a present taboo and the uncertainty that is their future.
What'd I experience?
This show revolved around a very dysfunctional family. And when I say dysfunctional I don’t mean “a child with divorced parents attending two Christmases” dysfunction. I mean, mother and son in an intimate relationship dysfunction.
If you are put off by that sentence, then nice, you are one from the very vast majority of people who are also very uncomfortable with this Oedipus situation. If you weren’t, well… I don’t exactly know what to say to you. I guess... Congratulations? I’m only judging you a little, I promise.
Don’t get me wrong, Crackskull Row has more to it than that taboo relationship. It had a deadbeat musician father who has just gotten out of jail after 30 years, go-go dancers, and insane poverty. But to me, the incestuous relationship was what captured my attention. This is a relationship that is based in “modern day” Ireland. This is a relationship that brought something different to my brain table. (Although it might not be a good something). When a show takes a chance and does something very out of my norm, I always think it is worth noting. Change makes people care whether it be for good reasons or bad.
I took something with me home once the show was over. I took home a thought. Incest is wrong. You know it. I know it. Most of the world knows it.
But this show had me invested in the lives and the happiness of its characters, so much, that when the taboo relationship was brought to light - I was taken aback. But as the show progressed, I understood more and more where the characters and their feelings were coming from.
But it still doesn’t make this relationship okay.
Dolly had lived a hard life for many years, never truly feeling the warmth that true love may give a person’s life UNTIL she had her son Rasher. Rasher's father, Dasher, was not a good man and he was away from his family for many nights at a time. During the days he had been gone the mother and son had developed this incredibly taboo relationship.
Dolly’s rather harsh life might have made her into a person who is unfit to take care of another person. There is an already obvious power imbalance between mother and son in a normal relationship but when a romantic relationship arises, that power imbalance is abused.
Dolly might have a “somewhat valid” reason for romantically loving her son but what reasoning does the son have besides “well, it’s my mom. *Apathetic shrug*”
I tried really hard to have an edgy view on this issue. I went home and thought it out in multiple different perspectives but at the end of the day it still gives me the creeps.