Project Arts Centre, Dublin Nov 27-Dec 8 8pm (Dec 8 mat 3pm) €10-€15 01-8819613 projectartscentre.ie
The suitor in Philip Ridley’s play addresses the object of his affections and fantasises about pushing a bullet between her lips. “Gently,” he assures her. “I wouldn’t break a single tooth.” She, in turn, is captivated by his eyes and speaks softly of prying them out with a spoon. Their wooing is both pungent and poetic, but you wouldn’t exactly confuse it with Shakespeare. Let’s hope they never compare each other to a summer’s day. They are more leery and intemperate.
New theatre company Sugarglass follows up its sublime Dublin Fringe show All Hell Lay Beneath with director Marc Atkinson’s staging of a typically warped Ridley fairytale. As a film-maker and theatre maker, the East End London writer has written for both adults and children, serving up dialogue for characters as disparate as the Kray brothers and Poppy Picklesticks.
Ridley tends to combine the sweet and sour in unusual ways. Here he constructs a relationship whose fantasies – involving a desert island, various political upheavals and mutilations – allude to more pathological and universal realities. As the Edward Albee-style fun and games fold back, deeper traumas flicker, but so does something more caring. Even the blackest hearts keep the beat.