Tryst, Limerick Fringe and Test Copy: this week’s theatre highlights
An engaged couple get more than they bargained for in Tryst; a Tipperary teenager wrestles with fickle popularity in Test Copy
Clodagh Mooney Duggan, Katie McCann and Finbarr Doyle in Tryst at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Project Arts Centre, Dublin, April 3rd-14th, 7.45pm €12-€16 projectartscentre.ie
A young couple prepares for their wedding day by spending most evenings in drunken celebration and most mornings in a fug of repentant hangovers. “Do you ever worry we’re not ha-ha alcoholics?” wonders bride-to-be Steph. Matt, her fiance, demurs over the hair of the dog. If this is maturity, asks Jeda de Brí and Finbarr Doyle’s three-hander, where are the consequences?
They arrive plentifully in the shape of Clodagh Mooney Duggan’s Rachel, the maid of honour who has been much dishonoured. A drunken house party some weeks ago brought all three friends much closer, with unanticipated results or, as Rachel puts it, “It’s Matt’s”. Sickle Moon’s production is an agitated portrait of assured mutual destruction, measured out in duologues about betrayal, consent, envy and abuse. Fans of verbal laceration will enjoy its oh-no-you-di-uhn’t rejoinders (“She’s my wife!” “But you came in me!”). First staged in 2016, and now revived, no wonder everyone seemed at their most awkward when forced to share the same space. Three really is a crowd.
Viking Theatre, Dublin, April 2nd-14th, 8pm €15 vikingtheatredublin.com
Debuted last year, Roseanna Purcell’s solo show now returns for Bitta Bite to introduce Louise Fennessy, a transition year student lost in the crowd of a convent school in Tipperary. Almost by accident, she is suddenly noticed, gaining the attentions of an unlikely crowd for a sweet, fleeting taste of popularity which she is anxious to retrieve. It’s a sharp premise for Purcell, a performer of wit and character, and reads like a twist on the coming-of-age romance within the self-obsessions of adolescence: girl meets cred, girl loses cred, girl will do anything to get cred back again.
Originally commissioned by Nenagh Arts Centre, and directed by Pat Kiernan, of Corcadorca, Test Copy comes with its bona fides in place, a glimpse of youthful struggle and modern pressures given a distinctive place. Such shows know well the dilemma of the young in the shoals of peers and competing attentions: How do you stand out?
Various venues, Limerick. Apr 4-7 Various times limerickfringe.com
For a long time Limerick seemed sceptical towards the idea of a Fringe, preferring, if possible, its opposite. That resulted in the unique and much admired Limerick UnFringed Performance Festival, which sadly ceased operations in 2012. Last year, though, a new platform emerged for alternative work with the Limerick Fringe, a multi-discipline event scattering performances through the city’s venues and streets.
Most of this years theatre programme leans towards comedy, with Tiger’s Eye Theatre’s absurdist Play on Words (Apr 5-7), Kate McLeod’s satirical Losing My Mindfulness (Apr 5-6), Rob Gee’s psychiatric spoof Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit (Apr 5) and Colette Forde’s performance of boisterous teen rebellion in 90s Manchester, Innit (Apr 5-7). Clown show Blooming Out (Apr 5-7) and sacrilegious piss-take Chromosome Why (Apr 5-7) suggest a mirth binge for a range of tastes, but it’s not all fun and games. Just ask Medea (Apr 5-7), who is also making a come back in Multi Story’s stripped down production. With dance, music and comedy also represented, there’s plenty more to comb through.