Review: The Centre of the Universe

John Doran wants you to join a cult: what have you got to lose?


The Centre of the Universe

Bewley’s Cafe Theatre


“My name is John and I want you to join a cult.” John Doran makes no bones about his intent and what follows is a show about one man’s desperate struggle to find a job, a girl, a bit of direction in the aftermath of college, where life consists of a threadbare CV and sandwiches for dinner, while the days drift by in an HBO fug. Doran’s solution is to create his own cult of personality, and as his relentlessly sunny disposition starts to buckle at its bright seams, the audience is invited to create their own delusional worlds. What could possibly go wrong?

Doran’s delivery bristles with energy, and he has a facility for comedic shifts in personality, with multiple characters tripping over each other. (He also must have facial muscles of steel.). The subject matter will strike a charming chord with anyone who has struggled with the bottom rung of the career ladder. The material, though, needs sharpening and the repetition in the script grates somewhat. There is certainly potential here, but the sound and the fury of the delivery can’t quite compensate for a script that needs more work.

Ends Sept 20