Exiles Review

May 26, 2010

Last week I went to Theatre Plays production of Exiles in the James
Joyce Centre. “Inspired” by Joyce’s only play it explored the
nature of open relationships, the understandings and undertakings of
an older lover for a younger one and the oft burred lines between
friendship and true love. It is also, without a shadow of a doubt, the
worst thing I have ever seen.

Richard Rowan, a famous writer,  has returned to Ireland for the first
time since fleeing in infamy nine years previous when he took up
with his 17 year old lover Burt. Both are being wooed by Robert,
Richards best friend (former lover, and I think  his agent,
though by the end of this production I couldn’t hand on heart say that
black wasn’t white). There is a another former lover, this time
female, thrown into the equation but just what she is doing and why
she is on the stage is as unclear as the rest of this excremental

The dialogue was dreadful,  delivered in slow spurts, a pause seeming
to come after every line, every word, every syllable. The facial
expressions were  three seconds behind their words and the

whole thing was so badly blocked that the audience
were rocking about like an inebriated hen night doing “Rock the Boat.”

As if a puerile script and preposterous performances weren’t enough to contend
with there was also ludicrous movement accompanied by “provocative
breathing” and mood lighting that turned the James Joyce Centre into
the worlds least imaginative brothel and was unintentionally hilarious.

By the shows end my senses were numbed, my last nerve filed down by the sudden appearance
of masks and ten solid minutes of gobbledygook being sprouted from the
actors mouths as they, I swear to Christ, repeated the previous scenes
dialouge in reverse.

This was less James Joyce, more Joey Tribbiani, theatre Ed Wood style.
It would have been funny were it not for the fact that stepping into a
theatre is akin to playing russian roulette these days. Any show can contain the
bullet that will persuade an audience member they’ve had enought of
the rare hits and solid misses and splash out on a cinema ticket instead.


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