The Boys of Foley Street (Site Specific)

October 28, 2013

Starting with a 1975 radio feature presented by Pat Kenny about four lads from the Foley Street area and their experiences with drink, drugs and criminal activity, this production from ANU Productions is speckled with modern day touches that remind you this shit is still happening. A site specific production directed by Louise Lowe it takes you into the real world that inspired many a well-soundtracked Britflick, squeezing the joy out of the action, leaving you with just the horror.

The genius of Lowe’s approach is that she tears your senses asunder. You know it’s only a play. You’ve seen the other two in the series. Yet every part of you bucks in panic and loathing as you partake in activities you would never consider engaging in. Jumping in and out of stolen cars, aiding and abetting criminals and vigilantes, hanging out in a violent drug den as an absurdly naturalistic cast-aided by Niamh Lunny’s equally credible costumes, jump out from behind corners and closed doors, exposing you to this ongoing hell on earth. By making us bear witness and, in certain cases, making us an accomplice to the crimes, she rings home how complicit we are to the gangland problems still raging around the city, whilst also showing us that many of these people didn’t choose a path of crime. They choose one of survival.

ANU’s The Boys of Foley Street takes the past through the fourth wall and lets it run amok around us, like a Guy Ritchie film without the comfort of its humour and an off switch. Sure you could walk away, but the scars are in and around you. As with their last productions, Laundry and World’s End Lane, The Boy’s of Foley Street insures the ghosts they’ve resurrected will haunt you from here on out.


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