Taking the lead

A couple of stalled lives discover a whirl of motion in Fishamble’s charming two step


Bewley's Cafe Theatre
"Change partners!" The frequent command of this nimble two-step from the Show in a Bag series - an initiative of Dublin Fringe, Fishamble and the Irish Theatre Institute - is also the soul of its appeal. Portraying a crowded dance class of comic characters, the charmingly paired Janet Moran and Steve Blount (who co-wrote the play with Gavin Kostick and director Peter Daly) twirl through multiple roles with dazzling precision. Here are the husband-and-wife instructors who share humorous encouragement and barely-concealed hostility; there, a mismatched Nordie sour puss and fretful Cavan first-timer; and everywhere else, the tread-upon toes of missed connections or the gliding grace of soul mates.

Somebody needs to lead, though. May, settled before her time, comes seeking society while her boyfriend is out of the country and finds Joe, a cheerfully battered spirit, who lost his wife, his job and his home (“I’m a Country and Western song”). Reassuringly generic, maybe, but Moran and Blount create endearing visions of stalled lives in a whirl of possibility and, with elegant guidance, Daly lets them dance like angels.

Ends September 19th

Peter Crawley

Peter Crawley

Peter Crawley, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about theatre, television and other aspects of culture