Camille’s own brand of crazy

October 23, 2013


There’s not a doubt in my mind that one of the best performances last year-and certainly the funniest, was given by Camille Ross, who jumped, humped and slumped across the stage as the titular character in Naomi in the Living Room, one of six short plays by Christopher Durang presented by Brazen Tales Theatre Company last April under the title Durang, Durang. Described by Lynne Parker as having “enough energy to power the national grid”, what made the performance so great wasn’t just the level of commitment that Ross brought to the part but her ability to make this absurd creature real in the eyes of the audience, lacing each lunge, howl and scowl with a killer side of truth, so that instead of applauding her ability to play mad, we thought she actually was.

“You have to convince people that this is your actual life,” says Ross, who formed Brazen Tales to specifically present the works of the outrageous playwright. “She can seem like such a wild character on paper. But she’s actually quite lonely, quite tragic. For every insane thing she did I had a logical reason for wanting to do that. If you are not playing the truth of the situation you won’t get a laugh.”

Those who missed the show will get a chance to atone for that sin when it is revived as a last-minute replacement to the Project Arts Centre winter season. Six twisted, manic comedies, each lasting only a few minutes Ross is supported by some of the countries finest young talent including her Pocket Music co-star Donncha O Dea, Ciaran O Brien and Devious Theatre’s John Doran.

If we have another night as funny as it again, it will be a good year.

First Published in the Sunday Independent, 1st of April 2012

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