Tag Archives: kevin c olohan

The Smock Alley Theatre: Cirque des Reves

Yet again The Smock Alley Theatre‘s Boys’ School has been blessed with an incredible performance!

Hallowe’en is just around the corner. But the theatre makers of Dublin are already celebrating and who could blame them? Especially if they invite you to deepen inside what is one of the most Celtic of holidays – Samhain. The season of witches and wizards, vampires, zombies and the likes have officially started. Dare not to join in!

And Sickle Moon Productions together with Illustrated Productions are the first ones to raise the curtain. Katie McCann, Clodagh Mooney Duggan, Finbar Doyle and Kevin C Olohan have got something very special for you this October: Cirque Des Reves, which opened with a sold out preview yesterday.

This very atmospheric performance with moments of the good old story-telling invites us to witness the story of Poppy Parker. Poppy was once a girl just like you and me. But she got tired of her normal, dull life and decided to run away with the circus. Entertaining shows, flashing lights, enchanting music and lucrative illusions, the never ending fun, a new place and new people every day… Her life will never be the same anymore, thought Poppy. Cirque des Reves came to town for three days only and Poppy made sure not to miss a single performance. Wandering around in between the acts, Poppy gets the attention of one of the brothers who owns the circus. Poppy’s dream may come true sooner than she expected… But little does she know that you can join the circus, but you can never leave.

This magic performance straight away steals you from the reality into the world of the Victorian circus. The poetic language, elaborated set, wonderful authentic costumes and beautifully fleshed out characters make Cirque des Reves, so magnificent and enjoyable. No doubt, this play will enchant both the older and the younger.

Katie McCann, the writer of the piece, has an already proven talent not only for playwriting, but also for performing. Watching her and her fellow actors, the three of them are fast rising Irish theatre makers, on stage is such a pleasure to the eye. Another compliment also goes to Jeda de Brí, who directed this production.

Shall you run away with this circus this Hallowe’en? Do it if you dare! For one week only! For more info or to book tickets, as per usual: http://smockalley.com/cirque-des-reves/

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Filed under Cirque de Reves, Illustrated Productions, Sickle Moon Productions, Smock Alley Theatre

Theatre Upstairs: Peruvian Voodoo

Drugs. Sex. Rock-n-Roll. Without the Rock-N-Roll part. Dublin style.

From the moment I started watching the play one word appeared in my head: “Magnolia”. If you’ve ever seen that film and enjoyed the structure, then this play is for you.

Written and directed by Bitter Like A Lemon’s Lee Coffey, “Peruvian Voodoo” presents you a story about one ordinary for everyone, but quite an extraordinary for the characters of the play, day in Dublin city. The thing is that “the day” is described by three different characters from their correspondent points of view.

The day starts with O’Brien (played by Laurence Falconer) going to work just to find out that his literary submission was rejected once again by the publisher he works for. Good for O’Brien he’s submitted it to another publishing giant, Behan. O’Brien gets half a day off, which he decides to spend with his young wife. If only she answered the phone. He goes to a local pub instead for a pint, but the things don’t really go the way he’s planned.

The second character we meet is Murphy (played by Finbar Doyle). He is a beggar. But a nice guy. But a beggar. Murphy is a man with a sweet personality who had made some bad choices once, so now he lives on the street. After getting some food from a shelter, he has to leave the place (and there is a good reason why) to eat it somewhere else. Just as he sits down and is ready to nibble on his sandwich, Murphy notices a mother with a small daughter. Beggars, as well. He feels bad for them, they look like nice people. He shares his food with them. Not long after “the goatee” appears, the father of the girl. He is a real scumbag. One word after another,… today is not Murphy’s best day.

The third character is Behan (played by Kevin G. Olohan), the publisher. His day is worse than anybody else’s. From the very morning he can’t get a decent blow-job and … well, we all know, how bad things can turn out from there. He decides to cool it down in a local pub, but his best mate, who usually goes there with him, doesn’t want to go to the local, so they go somewhere else. One thing after another leads to taking drugs and setting the whole place on fire… A bad day, indeed. But it’s far from over yet.

Quoting Kevin C. Olohan the play is basically about a day “that went wrong from the very beginning”. But, obviously, it’s much more than that. Three men. One Day. One city. One story.

Being second of Lee Coffey’s plays, you can see the obvious progression from Leper and Chip. The plot has got stronger, so did the narrative and the character-building. On the other hand, the play kept to very typical of Coffey’s fast pace (nicely compared to a moving train) and the way of delivering lines. The characters don’t interact with each other at all. They recite their monologues towards the audience and only the audience.

The language is still strong and explicit. But it has its beauty! The beauty of not being afraid to say exactly what you want and the way you want. Any piece of modern theatre must challenge its audience. The era of comfortable plays is quite over. Nobody is there to listen to elaborated euphemisms and the sweet way the author had sugar coated everything just to make the audience comfortable.

A special word goes to acting. All three performances are completely different. It’s clear that all three actors worked out their characters to perfection.

Technically the play does have its difficulties, first being the extremely fast pace. Each of three actors gets about 20 mins to tell their story, but those 20 mins must be so incredible intense. The next characters starts while the previous one is still speaking. It’s essential not to miss your cue. You missed the fist line, that’s it. The moment is gone. Apart from that all, after the monologue (or before it) the two actors who are not performing have to sit completely still for forty minutes, which is a challenge itself. And even though there was a couple of mess ups, not for a second it distracted neither the audience nor the actor performing.

The set was very smartly done, as well. Very simple, but suited perfectly the plot. Some very smart directing decisions were made around breathing (yes, breathing!). It gave a very distinctive tone (together with the red light) to when the narrative jumped from the reality to dreaming. In other words: a great piece of theatre. Really different from anything else running on at the moment in Dublin. Catch it before it ends on May, 30th in Theatre Upstairs. For more info or to book, visit: http://www.theatreupstairs.ie/peruvian-voodoo


Filed under Go and See, Irish Stage, Peruvian Voodoo, Theatre Upstairs