Sure Thing review: Not even the house always wins | Tiger Dublin Fringe

A fleet piece about gambling in Dublin that is determined to break even

Sure Thing takes an accumulator approach

Sure Thing takes an accumulator approach

 

Sure Thing

Bewley’s Cafe Theatre @ Powerscourt

***

 

A young father has a chance to redeem himself, a philosophical bookie wagers on his own decency, a nervous guy gambles on romance, and his gauche friend bets he can fit in . . . There’s a lot riding on this day in the life of a Dublin betting office. Win or lose, though, Eric O’Brien and Jed Murray’s fleet new play for Show in a Bag finds the odds stacked against their characters, who are all slavishly in thrall to the chase. As first-time writers, they have studied the form of such economical performance, alternating between brisk multiple role-play, staccato lyricism, inner monologues and demotic dialogues.It’s an accumulator approach that can easily become overloaded. Under Tracy Ryan’s direction, energetic but unfocused, the performers revolve uncertainly, occasionally splotched with awkward video projections. Elsewhere, less is more: the brio of Murray’s race announcer and O’Brien’s wild-eyed responder better conveys the comic desperation of thrill and addiction. “I can admit when I’m beat,” says one noble character, where others tragically cannot, but the play finally pulls back, implausibly, from truly bleak losses. It’s a close-run thing, but it settles for the safe bet of redemption.

Until September 19th

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