The best theatre shows this week
From the giddy highs to the worrying lows, or a rooftop to a grave, this week's theatre highlights span the course of a lifetime.
If We Got More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You at Project Arts Centre. Photograph: Claudia Marinaro
If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You
Project Arts Centre, Dublin. Previews Jan 16-17 Opens Jan 18 – Feb 3 7.45pm €16/€12 projectartscentre.ie
There are many impediments to the expression of true affection: sexual hang-ups, emotional vulnerability, doubt. To this list John O’Donovan’s debut play adds a couple of lesser-discussed obstacles, such as insufficient narcotics and an unexpectedly high altitude. When two Ennis tearaways are interrupted during a drug-propelled crime rampage, they take refuge on the roof of a house and wait for the heat to die down.
For Mikey and Casey, two working class lads accustomed to being kept down by forces of homophobia, abuse and poverty, is may be the highest they’ve ever been. Beginning to see their world from a new vantage, and spurred on by various intoxicants, they begin speaking honestly and O’Donovan’s play becomes a romantic drama drawn with social detail. Premiered in London in 2016, it now gets its Irish premiere in a new production from One Duck, with Alan Mahon reprising his role as Mikey, and Josh Williams joining as Casey, two young men ready to have their minds altered, hoping that coming down won’t be brutal.
Roscommon Arts Centre. Jan 19 8pm €15 roscommonartscentre.ie
Ordinarily, an undertaker is the last person to let you down. But in Niamh McGrath and Keith Singleton’s comic play, based on the rivalry between local undertakers in the small town of Foystown, there is little opportunity for rest or a moment’s peace. With the death of local legend, big Tom McCarthy, a battle ensues between good-natured strivers Jane and Rob, and the underhand tactics of Cost-Less Coffins, run by a father and son team in the pocket of Big Burial. All parts are played by McGrath and Singleton, under the direction of Amy Conroy, giving us bickering old men, flirty sandwich-makers, wily teenagers and the generalised mayhem of an Irish funeral. Debuted on the Dublin Fringe in 2016, the show is back to tour: follow that cortège.
Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire. Jan 18 8pm paviliontheatre.ie
A bold fusion of one-man show, dramatic mystery, comedy and dance theatre, Pat Kinevane’s Forgotten is now 10n years old and as relevant as ever. Staged by Fishamble and widely toured as Kinevane has added a significant body of work to his repertoire (performed together on Jan 17th), his first piece affords four older characters an involving, interwoven tale, told with vigorous theatricality and an incisive, often-scabrous wit. Under Jim Culleton’s direction, he puts technique at the service of the play, matching deep, effortlessly convincing characterisations with playful audience interaction, punctuated with stylised gestures that demand the precision of a dancer. How the stories of a cantankerous retirement home resident, a well-to-do dowager, her one-time maid, and a stroke-victim come together is both the delight and the tragedy of the play, and Kinevane draws his threads together with startlingly effective devices within a consummate act of storytelling.