The Candidate

 

Bewley’s Café Theatre, Dublin Previews Jul 2 Opens Jul 3-21 1pm €8-€12 (lunch €4) 086-8784001 bewleyscafetheatre.com

These days political satire tends to be served with a heavy hand rather than a light touch. It’s a problem, because when public scrutiny of political process and personalities is intense, it’s hard for a dramatist to yield many surprises. If they pander to mass cynicism, dark chuckles reinforce apathy and reliance on catchphrases comes off as weak observational comedy: “It’s a dig out, not a bailout.” “We all partied.” What’s a playwright to do?

Gina Moxley’s enlivening answer, first seen in Sidhe’s production in 2010, was to take a holiday. That’s the set-up for The Candidate, her one-woman comedy performed by Frances Healy, which revolves around Myra, a thirtysomething Irish thrillseeker conducting her own elections for a holiday lover.

Mistakenly booked into an island honeymoon resort with her mismatched friend, Myra finds relief from drink and boredom in the shape of an eligible Irish auctioneer. Sex and champagne flows liberally. The one catch, it transpires, is that he’s a back-bencher on a junket: “Lies poured out of him like scutter out of a bull,” Myra reports.

Directed by Moxley, a deceptively light vehicle can have wicked intent, and that’s when satire is most effective: commenting with a smile.

Can’t see that? Catch this:Heroin(e) for Breakfast Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin