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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: October 7, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

    DTF – The dog has his day

    Laurence Mackin

    Yesterday, we brought you exciting news of the hottest new acting thing to hit the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival this year – Toby the dog. Today, Sara Keating gives you her verdict on his performance in The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane.

    You’ve probably read this point already, but the inventive premise of Pan Pan’s production is that the first half is staged as an audition and the audience pick their favourite actor, who then plays Hamlet for the second half. Simple, yes?

    On the night Keating went along, “physical Hamlet” Conor Madden was the chosen one. He “clutches a copy of the play to his breast throughout the second half of the play as the ghosts of other Hamlets stalk him: Beckett’s Hamm, famous Hamlets, the Hamlets the audience has already seen, and the two rejected Hamlets from the production’s first half, who whisper key speeches in his wake”. Keating is rather taken with Aédin Cosgrove’s set, which “finds beauty in rubbish bins, and dramatic lighting effects in candles, coloured gels and projectors”, and she reckons the cast “segue seamlessly between tongue-in-cheek parody and passion”.
    You can read her full review here.

    Within the enimga wrapped in the riddle of the festival are a number of little boxes, including the Polish box and the Family Season box (this analogy is creaking at its cardboard seams). Anyhow, Sara Keating was also dispatched to The Girl Who Forgot To Sing Badly. It features a standout performance from Louis Lovett, who “demonstrates an energising versatility in this one-man show, using song, mime, physical comedy and an impressive array of self-generated sound effects to create the various characters Peggy encounters on her journey”. So borrow some children if you need an excuse to see this one. You can read her review in full here.

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