Charolais is a rare thing, a whip-smart play masquerading a simple story. Sweetly written and performed by Noni Stapleton, Charolais is the tale of a love triangle – or maybe more than one triangle.
Noni Stapleton plays Siobhan, a big hearted Irish lass who is employed to help with the administrative side of a family farm. The farm is run by a strapping son and his embittered mother. Siobhan falls for the son, Jimmy, after watching him wrangle a cow out of a muddy field. And, oh, how she would like to be that cow... wrapped in Jimmy’s strong arms being gently rocked back and forth until free.
|Noni Stapleton in CHAROLAIS at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Hunter Canning|
Jimmy and Siobhan, thrown together in work, are soon enough together in the biblical sense as well. And, good Irish folk that they are, not long after Siobhan is with child, albeit without husband. Yet. Siobhan imagines a future of happy farm family, but two things stand in her way. The most formidable is Jimmy’s mother. Jimmy’s mum is not generally receptive to Siobhan in the best of times, and Jimmy is worried how she will react to Siobhan’s news.
Less obviously formidable, but with a greater hold on Jimmy’s heart is the beautiful Charolais cow. Jimmy has a devotion to that cow that frustrates and later infuriates Siobhan. It is a nearly unbreakable bond, so what is Siobhan supposed to do?
Telling more might ruin the story of Charolais, and the story is pitch perfect with a few surprises left. How much of this terrific play and pacing is director / developer Bairbre Ni Chaoimh’s work and how much is Noni Stapleton’s is hard to judge. But it is easy to judge that the final project is impressive in humor, scope and heart .
Charolais | Playwright: Noni Stapleton | Director: Baribre Ni Chaoimh | Cast: Noni Stapleton |website