Reiltin at The Peacock

September 30, 2014

Writer/Director Paul Mercier leaves his ‘star’ adrift in this staged concert charting the duality between a young artist and her demonic stage persona. Better suited to a pub setting, but underdeveloped regardless, it has no characters, no clear plot and little direction as Cliona Ni Chiosáin spins about to a backing track of aped Britpop, keening over her failed love affairs with her music and with her man.

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Begorrah at Smock Alley

September 30, 2014

Most comedy acts are lucky if their show contains one uproarious laugh that unites the whole audience. This Irish troika are good for one per sketch, in a fifty-minute performance that’s greased with charm.

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Rushing off your tits, after ingesting the candyflip of Emmet Kirwan’s words and Ian Lloyd-Anderson’s performance, the heart, soul and yearning reverb of Dublin’s dancefloors will stick to you like a sweated-through t-shirt, in this wildly entertaining, touching two-hander.

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Magic in the Moonlight

September 20, 2014

Woody Allen is a bit like the Arsenal of movie making. He laces up each season, diligently delivering a new picture to compete with contenders old and new. But the strength of his attempts fluctuates year on year and rarely does he take the title of our heart back to back. Coming off the success of Blue Jasmine, his most recent film to be named ‘his greatest picture since Annie Hall’, hopes weren’t high for Magic in the Moonlight, a period romp set in the South of France where Colin Firth’s magician is enlisted to debunk Emma Stone’s medium before she makes off with the heart- and inheritance of a millionaire dullard.
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In 1939, 16-year old Brendan Behan was arrested while on an ‘unauthorised’ mission to blow up the Liverpool Docks for the IRA. Handing down his sentence the Judge rued the fact that- since Behan was underage, he couldn’t send him away for fourteen years penal servitude.

You’ll feel like Verdant Productions sent you down in his stead throughout this vulgar, three-hour money-grab. Star casting, unfocused direction and a failure to mine ANY relevance from Frank McMahon’s decrepit script, turns a powerful tale- about the tempering of nationalism by personal affection, into a calamitous free-for-all, without a moment’s gentleness expressed between characters.

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Sick at The New Theatre

September 19, 2014

Time is running out for Orla, a thirty-something carer whose mum suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s. With her unlived youth fading away behind her and the last traces of her Ma fading before her eyes, her already bleak future takes a darker turn when the public health nurse reminds her that there’s only so long that she can keep her mother on the antipsychotics that have quelled her violent moods. Unable to enjoy a moment to herself- to indulge the company of the very real local shopkeeper, or his fantastical alter ego she romantically dreams up, the cracks between comforting self-delusion and paranoid deductions chasm violently, sucking any chance for a happy resolution into it.

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Fizzles at 14 Henrietta Street

September 19, 2014

This time last year, Company SJ and Barabbas were a class apart from most of the work presented in the fringe. In 2014, impressive as Fizzles may be, you can’t help but feel that they’ve taken a step backwards.

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Bernarda’s House

September 13, 2014

Veronica Coburn sets out a funnytrap for her audience, through the use of the red nose, in this sort-of prequel to Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba. Spinning a web of light laughs, ranging from crude to clownish, she then let’s loose the bitter fangs of the source material, paralysing us with a young girls descent into callous cronehood.

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Painted Bird Productions’ Between Trees and Water is an unwaveringly grim piece of testimonial theatre, and we are all the better for it, dealing as it does with the death of a young Irish woman from an illegal abortion. Set during the 1930s and drawing on the real life passing of Bridie Kirk, the woman at its centre barely gets a word in as friends, family, lovers and medical professionals point the finger, absolving themselves of responsibility and painting a picture of the ‘young girl, 25-26 years old’, dabbing from a pallet of their own prejudice.

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This darling show from The Savage Eye’s Sonya Kelly, produced by Rough Magic, does exactly what you’d expect from the star and creator of the much toured, much lauded The Wheelchair on my Face. It’s very funny, very sweet with sufficient tang to prevent projectile cynicism.

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