Within Rooms review: Lost in translation

The walls in this small, over-extended production are built on weak foundations

Within Rooms (Entre Quartos)

The Lir


"There is nothing worse than getting to know a nation's drama and not being able to do anything," confides one of the characters in this play from Brazil's Grupo Tripé. Those misgivings come close to the frustrations an uninitiated audience will have watching Within Rooms.


A modest piece about love, desire and the hothouse conditions of crowded cohabitation, it puts three young flatmates together in a tormented love triangle, serenaded throughout by an impish musician who, if bossa nova be the food of love, plays on. Sadly, for a community so unrepresented on the Irish stage, an inattentive production doesn’t make access any easier.

An over-extended cast are also responsible for direction, dramaturgy, lighting and producing, with insufficient attention spared to deliver a coherent translation, or prevent the technical hiccups of tangled surtitles, or to marshal together a sizeable opening-night attendance for its surround staging.

The show, as far as I could discern, is a sweet piece of juvenilia about competing attractions, the stages of desire and the restless identity of libidinous youth, endearingly told amid the detritus of cigarettes and wine bottles through emphatic declarations and soothing acoustic song. Its final image of abandonment, the saddest fate it can imagine, seems all the lonelier for the distance between us.

Runs until Sept 16