From the blogs: 'Theatre and me parted ways many years ago'


IT’S NEARLY A year since OTR last went to the theatre. I know, I’m as much a philistine as most of you suspect I am. You’re supposed to go to the theatre if you’re writing about culture of any sort, right?

But as I’ve noted before, theatre and me parted ways many, many years ago after too many nights spent watching writers using a script and the stage to work out issues with their alcoholic fathers.

I went my way and it, well, it didn’t really seem to go anywhere.

Theatre gets an incredible amount of attention and coverage compared to other forms of culture, yet there’s rarely anything that pokes its way into the world which appeals to anyone beyond the hardcore. Occasionally, it does happen, but that’s the exception which proves the rule. Sure, the dedicated hardcore who go to opening nights and always check out what’s on in the Abbey (the women with scarves, to coin a phrase) are to theatre what Mogwai fans are to live music, but there are times when you surely have to go beyond the heartland.

Alice In Funderland is one of those occasions. I’d wager that the vast majority of people who were in the Abbey last week for the performance I saw are not regular theatre-goers. You can tell that by their hands-in-the-air reaction to the pumping house music that played during the interval. In fact, I reckon most of the people who were there wouldn’t consider the theatre when it comes to a night out.

But this is Alice In Funderland, a colourful tale of camp magic, mischief and machinations in an acid-trip Dublin you’ll recognise with a grin, and this is why we’re here. We’re here to be entertained (even theatre audiences want value for money in 2012) and we get that. We’re here for some pokes at the pantomime villains who landed this country in the mess it’s in and we get those. We’re here for a big night out and, yep, we get that in spades.