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.

Occasionally falling over and singing into a mop of hair, as lights flash and smoke machines hiss, it’s 50 minutes of extreme karaoke, missing the support and atmosphere a live band could provide, leaving it to Micheal O Dubhain’s constant video design to set the tone. There’s no variety in performance, no emphasis put on words sung (to express diverse emotions) and no indication what our role, as audience, is supposed to be in a show that’s sung through as if we weren’t there.

The idea of an Irish language rock and roll musical is far more appealing than its execution. This is a deeply uninspired production that sees the company abandon the illustrative power of mask and puppets but replace them with nothing else.Ni Chiosáin tries admirably but nothing is done to dramatise the story of a fantasist morphing into a realist, which is about as theatrical as a teenager roaring into a hairbrush.

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