Gis a Shot of your Bongos Mister
This is Brian Fleming’s story of his travels in west Africa and his work as an artist at the heart of the regeneration project at Dublin’s Fatima Mansions.
Two characters loom large in the narrative: Chico and Bala, musicians from Senegal who are landed in Dublin with nothing to prepare them for life in the west or the advances of the women of Dublin 8, which nearly fail under the weight of their own double entendres.
This is a one-man show, with Fleming using song, percussion, audience participation, and projected images, while looping fragments of text and music. It’s solid, colourful storytelling more than theatre, and Fleming’s eye for detail is always sympathetic and affectionate. As the title suggests, it’s the language of Fatima that provides most of the humour, but he also cleverly links that area’s transformation to Chico’s and Bala’s life in west Africa, and Fleming makes his points personally and effectively.