Review: Dublin Oldschool

It fizzes, it cracks, it whips and raps: Dublin free style

Dublin Oldschool

Bewley’s Café Theatre


Generally, it’s a bad omen when a play starts with the cast rapping, but in the case of Emmet Kirwan’s electrifying two-hander, the opening volley of verbal pyrotechnics perfectly sets the dizzingly funny yet skangily authentic tone of what’s to come.


Jason (Kirwan) is a lairy waster with aspirations to be a DJ who mainly spends his time in Dublin’s scuzzy club scene consuming narcotics; he bumps into his prodigal brother Daniel (Ian Lloyd Anderson), a homeless yet educated heroin addict, casting his perpetually intoxicated lifestyle in ambiguous light. It’s a familiar scenario, but set apart by the fizzing inventiveness of the wordplay and the vividness of the performances. Both actors bring wit and depth to their main roles, while breathing life into multiple minor characters who occasionally steal the show.

Part urban portrait, part family snapshot and part gratuitous headrush, it’s so exhilarating one even forgives the odd outbreak of cod-philosophy.

Ends on Sept 14

Mick Heaney

Mick Heaney

Mick Heaney is a radio columnist for The Irish Times and a regular contributor of Culture articles