Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

From the Fringe: Elevator

There are a couple of things which come to mind while watching Elevator, the new play for this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival from Philip McMahon and Thisispopbaby, the crew who brought us Alice In Funderland earlier in the year (review …

Thu, Sep 13, 2012, 09:37

   

There are a couple of things which come to mind while watching Elevator, the new play for this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival from Philip McMahon and Thisispopbaby, the crew who brought us Alice In Funderland earlier in the year (review here). There’s Rich Kids of Instragram, that fabulous document of the idle rich. There’s the ennui which Frank Ocean depicts on “Super Rich Kids” especially the line “the maids come around too much”. And there’s The xx’s Romy Madley-Croft recently talking about how hedonistic, upbeat music sometimes contains the most heartbreaking lines and emotions of all.

If Funderland was brash, colourful and swag, Elevator is the morning after three nights before. Matching the monochrome setting (large white sofa, pitch black flooring), the cast are clad in suave tuxedos and swish dresses, but we can tell from their body language that we’re at the end of the party. What were once bright young things at the start of the night are now jaded and bored, looking at oneanother for amusement, entertainment and diversions in a house deep in the snowy woods in the middle of the country.

So, tall tales are told, anecdotes which become more and more outrageous and despairing as the play progresses and more drugs are sniffed. The characters are cold, aloof, selfish, superficial and nihilistic, chiding each other for grasping at sincerity and trying to stay out of their heads to banish the need to face up to what’s happening. Yet for all these unpalatable attributes, there are moments when you see them in a different, more sympathetic, more vulnerable light. They may profess to be lost in music and the moment, but they’re still subject to the swings and roundabouts of human emotions. Once the facade drops and the need to keep up their side of the collective bravado disappears, they’re truly stripped bare.

(Elevator is at Dublin’s Project Arts Centre until September 22)