The inspired format of Corn Exchange's Car Shows can accommodate a host of short plays, though only four at a time, since the audiences must fit into the rear seats of four cars. It does need writers who can create short dramas or comedies, and actors who can perform them convincingly in the front seats. So far, it has been an acclaimed winner.
This new lot, on offer three times nightly, maintain the standard. The sequence in which one sees them is a lucky dip affair, as is the enforced companionship of fellow eavesdroppers. I drew two male gigglers, and it is a tribute to the plays that they, and I, survived such insensitivity.
Actors Karen Egan and Tom Murphy, directed by Annie Ryan, devised Charlotte's Web, in which a Lithuanian male seems condemned to form relationships with neurotic, even suicidal Irish women. It is beautifully put across.
Director/writer Veronica Coburn's Trunk Call is a slapstick comedy that looks at the loving relationship of a young couple who lock each other alternately in the car boot before telling the passengers/audience to get lost. Elizabeth Duffy and Emmet Kirwan have some kooky fun with it.
Generations, devised by the cast of Alan King and Colin Thornton, has two gay men, one young and the other older, in the middle of some personal turbulence. Its appeal lies in dialogue that conveys deep emotions and personality contrasts in minimal words. Darren Thornton directs.
Perhaps the best, and certainly the most subtle, is Eugene O'Brien's Solid, directed by Charlie Bonner and played by Peter Gaynor and Norma Sheehan. A young couple are preparing to entertain, and woo in business, recent hosts. Talking about the dinner to come, they uncover uncomfortable elements in the relationship, but go ahead anyway: business first.
The sheer intimacy of the productions, laced with a little voyeurism, has a hypnotic effect. Add to that the excellence of the writing, acting and direction, and the effect is truly seductive.
Runs to December 1st. For bookings, tel: 01-8852622