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  • Chris O'Rourke

Waiting For Faro

Waiting For Faro. Image uncredited.


Sometimes a comic idea can become a one trick pony. A single sketch dragged out trying to pass itself off as a show. Such being the case with Waiting For Faro. In which Samuel Beckett’s characters meet low price air fares in a production that goes on, and on, even when it shouldn’t.

Despite songs, lots of physical comedy, and some Beckett styled set-ups, Eoin Byrne’s script is a wordy affair, almost bookish at times. Cleverly working up Beckett’s Dee Dee (Lisa Murphy) and Gogo (Elishka Lane) from Waiting For Godot as two women waiting for a flight to Faro. Conflating Beckett’s sense of absurd boredom with the low cost flight experience. Byrne’s Dee Dee and Gogo putting in the interminable waiting with songs, air travel jokes and a lot of cliched observations. If Murphy and Lane seem to practice the theatrical equivalent of found art, their found acting suggests director Morgan C. Jones fell considerably short of supporting the lightweight duo. Whilst also failing to rein in Dylan Tonge Jones’s Bozo and Conor Duffy’s Quincy, with Duffy doubling up as a Steward. Granted, Beckett liked silent movie references, and a homage to Laurel and Hardy lands nicely, but the arrival of Duffy and Jones sees the whole skidding into a frenetic Three Stooges sketch, where the third stooge stayed home out of embarrassment. Jones’ Bozo, an airline magnet, commandeering the stage, delivering monologues like a frenzied Communist Propaganda Minister. Duffy, providing much of the physical comedy, also going over the top. Both achieving much more when doing far less, like Duffy’s audience interactions.

With Waiting For Faro it's not that the basic rules of comedy are neglected; don’t play for laughs and timing is everything. Rather, they’re reversed. Showing no sense of timing the constant chase for easy laughs looks juvenile. A man appears to unintentionally slip on a banana; that’s funny. A man sets out to intentionally slip on a banana; that’s chasing an easy laugh. With so many deliberately placed banana peels in Waiting For Faro you might think it was sponsored by Fyffes. The effect undermining some great jokes and a really neat idea. Anyone who’s ever flown low fare airlines knows the horror of being reduced to human baggage, of sudden gate changes, hidden costs, destinations so far from the city of choice they cost more and take longer to get to than the flight that got you there. A little like Waiting For Faro. Which oversells its one idea till it resembles the theatrical equivalent of a low cost flight

If, under Morgan C. Jone’s direction, cast sell themselves, or are sold short, the shortfall is more pronounced when contrasted with Waiting For Faro’s tech. Lucy Bracken’s sound and lighting being extraordinarily brilliant. As is Lukasz Zyska’s incredibly smart set. The use of a dreaded bag size measure, with some smart advertisements, including a harp logo giving the passengers the finger, highlight the level of rigour that was needed. Bracken and Zyska holding the rest to account. Some cast members might be first timers (some look it). Others, though, have been around. Yes, we’re all for encouraging taking chances, trying new things. But there are basic errors some judicious editing and challenging direction should have addressed. Had they, Waiting For Faro could have been dynamite.

Waiting For Faro by Eoin Byrne runs at The Viking Theatre until April 1st

For more information, visit The Viking Theatre

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