Review: Potato Needs a Bath

October 15th, 2012

The Ark Maris Piper is having a party, and all her fruity friends are invited. There are the bickering Cherry twins, the opera-singing Madame Aubergine, Mr and Mrs Pear, who met at a conference, and their son William. There is poor little Peach, who keeps falling over and bruises easily. There are some veggies in [...]

Review: Your Brother. Remember?

October 12th, 2012

IN THE pantheon of classic films there may be worthier movies to revisit than Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Kickboxer. A 1989 martial-arts movie so trashy it makes The Karate Kid II seem like The Seventh Seal, Van Damme’s film is nonetheless the foundation text for Zachary Oberzan’s Your Brother. Remember?, a personal memoir that sifts through [...]

Review: The Coming Storm

October 12th, 2012

Samuel Beckett Centre THE COMING Storm begins with a lecture about storytelling. A good story should have a strong beginning, we are told, and a charismatic central character, elements of mystery, and silences that gets broken. Of course, Forced Entertainment will flout every one of these conventions in this devised, impressionistic performance, which offers fragments [...]

Review: Shibari

October 11th, 2012

THE COY way of describing Gary Duggan’s intricately constructed new play for the Abbey is as a tangle of connections; from loose strands between perfect strangers to more intimate relationships with ties that bind. The more sensational way to describe it, which will make sense to anyone who’s Googled the title (then nervously cleared their [...]

Review: Halcyon Days

October 11th, 2012

THE TITLE of Deirdre Kinahan’s new play does not refer to some golden-age of the past, but to the present moment of her touching drama, as a pair of ailing residents in a nursing home find friendship in their dying days. Sean is an actor stricken by dementia and a stoic acceptance that his life [...]

Review: Mouth Open, Story Jump Out

October 11th, 2012

WHAT IS the difference between a story and a lie? Ask Polarbear (real name Steven), raconteur extraordinaire. In this performance piece, making things up is the “best job in the world”. With just a few words, you can be transformed from a geek into a hero on a whim. This is what Polarbear has been [...]

Review: Mystery Magnet

October 9th, 2012

Samuel Beckett Theatre TThere are many ways we could describe the tumbling and twisting imagery of Miet Warlop’s riotous spectacle for the Belgian company Campo, but none that don’t sound like dispatches from the middle of an acid trip. On a bare stage that resembles a gallery space, a preposterously rotund invigilator sits by a [...]

Review: Hamlet

October 9th, 2012

O’Reilly Theatre Hamlet is a play tormented by ghosts. “What, has this thing appeared again tonight?” asks one of Elsinore’s watchmen, safe in the knowledge that the spirit of Hamlet’s father will appear every night, or at least for as long as the production is running, commanding his son to avenge his foul murder. Each [...]

Review: Ha, Ha Ha

October 9th, 2012

The Ark Good clowns never go out of fashion, even half-petrified dust-coated ones, and the chalky Belgian duo in Ha Ha Ha need nothing more than an old ball, a few empty boxes and a swinging door frame to win the hearts (and humours) of their audience of over-fours. Performed by Xavier Bouvier and Benoit [...]

Review: The House That Jack Filled

October 4th, 2012

Project Arts Centre – Cube MCNALLY’S HOTEL by the Sea is the setting for Finegan Kruckemeyer’s latest collaboration with Theatre Lovett. It is a “cosy, poky, falling-downy” type of place, but its owner Jack wouldn’t have it any other way. Built by his parents beside a “river as big as the sea”, it is his [...]

Review: Politik

October 4th, 2012

Samuel Beckett Theatre WHAT CAN an individual do to effect political change? This is the question posed by The Company in Politik, an improvisational theatre game in which the audience is invited to participate. The performance begins with a manifesto about civic engagement in a modern democracy and political processes that are “alien to our [...]

Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray

October 4th, 2012

Abbey Theatre MOST PEOPLE will already be familiar with the dark, mysterious details. No matter how many years go by, or how debauched and insincere the actions become, the outward display remains handsomely unchanged. That, too frequently, is our experience of Oscar Wilde in revival, whose comedies are routinely embalmed in period frocks and crystal-cut [...]

Review: The Last Summer

October 3rd, 2012

NOSTALGIA IS like a grammar lesson, observed the poet Owens Lee Pomeroy: you find the present tense and the past perfect. A similar kind of parsing takes place in Declan Hughes’ new play for the Gate Theatre, divided between one summer day, thrumming with possibility, in 1977, and another, precisely 30 years later, when the [...]

Review: The 14th Tale

October 3rd, 2012

Project Arts Centre – Cube Is that blood on Inua Ellams’s white T-shirt? Even though it looks suspiciously like red paint, the dark stain visible on the writer/performer’s clothes seems to foreshadow violence from the opening minutes. In an hour-long piece, presented by the London-based Fuel theatre company, this playful performance poet teases the audience [...]

Review: The Talk of the Town

October 2nd, 2012

WITH THE martini-dry wit that befits a 1950s staff writer at the New Yorker, Maeve Brennan saw the end coming. “She died,” reports Catherine Walker’s elegant sylph, alone and wreathed in cigarette smoke. “She shot herself in the back with the aid of a small hand-mirror.” Brennan’s dark fantasy, written during her years of writer’s [...]

Review: Everyone is King Lear in His Own Home

October 2nd, 2012

Smock Alley Theatre King Lear is given a postmodern makeover by Pan Pan Theatre in Everybody is King Lear in His Own Home. But Shakespeareüs text is just one of the fragments in director Gavin Quinn’s collage, which juxtaposes high and low cultural references with pointed self-consciousness. Lear’s soliloquies are intercut with muted scenes from [...]

Review: Tristan und Isolde

October 1st, 2012

Bord Gais Energy Theatre IT WAS the quick-witted Rossini who suggested that Wagner has good moments but bad quarters of an hour. And, to be fair, the passing of time can become a real issue when a Wagner performance is not going well. As another sharp commentator pointed, there are time-filling issues for the singers, [...]

Review: White

September 30th, 2012

The Ark Imagine a life without colour? Well Wrinkle and Cotton are custodians of such a place; a soft monochrome universe that is the world of White. The happy pair perform their daily rituals with studied care. They brush their teeth, share breakfast, give their nests a thorough dusting, and police the borders for any [...]

Review: Have I No Mouth

September 30th, 2012

Project Arts Centre – Cube To anybody already familiar with the serious intent behind Feidlim Cannon and Gary Keegan’s playful approach to theatre, this riveting new show from Brokentalkers will still come as some surprise. It isn’t just that Cannon, who appears onstage with his mother and their psychotherapist, has mined a painful history for [...]

Review: Dubliners

September 28th, 2012

Gaiety Theatre This year, with his works coming into the public domain, James Joyce belongs to everyone. With the end of copyright, his adapters face a different dilemma: now they can do anything with Joyce, where should they begin? For The Corn Exchange, a company whose ensemble methods are as witty as they are physically [...]