March 12, 2020


Kicking It Towards The Truth 

Not to be confused with Cristian Ceresoli’s mesmerising The Shit, Australian playwright Patricia Cornelius’ "Shit" offers a litany of the damned from three female prisoners. A play in which three unredeemable women recount their unredeemable lives as self-fulfilling prophesies. Each cursing in futile defiance while resigned to accepting the inevitable: they’re shit, life’s shit, it’s all shit....

March 5, 2020


Red Herring 

In a darkened kitchen eight year old Daniel stands alone in pyjamas. He pulls on a medical glove before picking up a knife. Around him, Philip Stewart’s exceptional score haunts the shadows like a brooding threat while Aedín Cosgrove’s excellent lights suggest darker psychological depths. Tension builds, culminating in a sudden pulse of blood red light flooding Alyson Cummins’ superbly angled set wherein opposi...

March 3, 2020

Humpty Dumpty  

The road to hell is lined with good intentions. None more so than Arts & Disability Ireland and Project Arts Centre co-production of poet Roderick Ford’s "The Spider’s House." If the idea was to mentor an artist with a disability, Ford’s shambolic script suggests the model may need to be looked at. Ford may express an affinity with absurdism and magic realism, but "The Spider’s House" is still a lumbering...

February 29, 2020


Death by a Thousand Cuts 

Churchill, misquoting George Santayana, claimed that those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Corn Exchange’s political comedy “The Fall of the Second Republic,” created by Michael West and Annie Ryan, would appear to second that motion. Poking fun at the bully boy, back hander politics of the 1970s, its jokes are razor edged and very clearly aimed at today. Where if the wal...

February 28, 2020


Rage to Stage   

Did you hear about Hairy Jaysus? Otherwise known as Frank the Crank? Also known as Frank Sheehy Skeffington, or Skeffy? A close friend of James Joyce who was executed by the British in 1916 for trying to put up No Looting posters in the middle of the Rising? If you answered no, you’re not alone. If Donal O’Kelly’s one man play, "Hairy Jaysus" tries to reclaim Sheehy Skeffington as some sort of symbol fo...

February 27, 2020


Memory Lane 

A singer and dancer explore the notion of memory being recorded and frozen in the material world: our actions, feelings and thoughts remaining in matter eternally. It sounds like a tall order. And, unfortunately, it is. Even for celebrated choreographer and dancer Breandán de Gallaí, accompanied by singer Gina Boreham. For "Walls Talk,” directed and choreographed by de Gallaí, offers not so much a study of memor...

February 26, 2020


Dragon Slayers 

It was once said of punk that it can’t sing, can’t dance, and can’t play. If not an entirely accurate description of the musical "Dragon," devised by Fizz and Chips Theatre Company, it’s perhaps not so wide of the mark. Singing, unquestionably better during duets and chorus, often falters to be heard, hit, or sustain the right note, especially during solos. Then there’s its incompatible tales of a standard d...

February 21, 2020


To Have and To Have Not 

The sins of the mothers come home to roost in Willy Russell’s "Blood Brothers,” as twin brothers, Mickey and Eddie, separated at birth, find themselves cursed and damned by fate. Or should that be cursed and damned by the class system? If Russell’s 1983 award winning musical begins by telling you it’s all going to end badly, such is the power of "Blood Brothers" that you start hoping it might yet h...

February 20, 2020


To Wake Up Unfamiliar 

The word love is frequently referenced in Luca Truffarelli’s opening projections, offering a selection of playful sentences that dominate the back wall of the stage. Yet his ominous sound design suggests you better watch your back. A warning well heeded. If Philip Connaughton’s "Mamafesta Memorialising" sees him returning to the well that inspired its beautiful companion piece, Assisted Solo, i...

February 13, 2020


First Past The Post 

No good deed goes unpunished in Eric O'Brien & Jed Murray’s "Sure Thing.” A tight paced two hander exploring a day in the life of a Dublin bookies. Featuring O’Brien and Murray in various roles, "Sure Thing" examines the agonies and ecstasies of chasing a chance. Yet if "Sure Thing" tackles gambling and addiction on the surface, underneath deeper interrogations are taking place as one of the last bastio...

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© 2016 Chris O'Rourke