Tag Archives: 2012

Win Tickets to Silent at axis Ballymun

axis Ballymun is a wonderful example of the good arts funding can do in Ireland. The arts centre offers a host of facilities for artists such as rehearsal space, dance studios, an art room; services for the community including a creche, a cafe and bar and space for local community organisations to base themselves; as well as hosting an impressive year-round schedule of events and shows. Whilst being primarily a community arts centre, axis has also mastered the skill of maintaing a very good reputation as a bonafide theatre, consistently hosting great shows.

axis Ballymun’s event guide is brimming with great shows and events such as dancer Philip Connaughton beginning a year-long residency in the centre which will see a number of dance-related events taking place, a visual arts initative ‘Wise Ways’ which will involve older members of the community, Beyond the Brooklyn Sky – a piece of theatre as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival; and a particularly spooky Otherworld festival to mark Halloween.

Also, next month, the theatre will play host to Fishamble and Pat Kinevane’s piece – ‘Silent’, which  was the winner of the Scotsman Fringe First award and the Herald Angel at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2011. Written and performed by the wonderful Pat Kinevane; Silent tells the tale of a solitary homeless man who recalls happier times.

To celebrate the launch of their new event guide, axis Ballymun is offering a pair of free tickets to Silent at their wonderful theatre this coming October 10-13. To win all you need to do is head on over to Twitter and retweet this message I’ve posted – all retweets will be in with a chance to win. Entries must be made before Wednesday, October 3 at 5pm and the winner will be announced on Thursday.

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Review: Dubliners at The Gaiety Theatre

‘The grey warm evening of August had descended upon the city, and a mild warm air, a memory of summer, circulated in the streets. The streets, shuttered for the repose of Sunday, swarmed with a gaily coloured crowd. Like illumined pearls the lamps shone from the summits of their tall poles upon the living texture below, which, changing shape and hue unceasingly, sent up into the warm grey evening air an unchanging, unceasing murmur.’

Beautiful words to begin the rather crude story of Two Gallants, which at the time of its creation was refused at first by the printer. How stunning then that two bawdy ladies of the night recite these lines agains the background of a garish pink backdrop in Dubliners’ stage adaptation currently playing at The Gaiety.

As part of the audience at the Corn Exchange‘s Dubliners this evening I was reminded again about how superb Joyce was at creating characters that are at the same time amazing and ordinary. This production, through its heavily stylised staging and dramatic acting has managed to keep true to Joyce’s style by creating a production that, while not without flaw, tells the story of ordinary people in a way that is truly extraordinary.

Of Dubliners’ 15 short stories, playwright Michael West chose nine to stage. The choice is interesting and I agreed to it for the most part but felt that it could have survived better without The Boarding House and A Mother while the production definitely lacked the presence of A Little Cloud and Araby.

Beginning with Two Sisters was a logical choice but I felt gave the production a lacklustre start, while An Encounter actually gave the the energy it needed to capture the audience – Mark O’Halloran’s performance is fantastic here and had the audience in stitches.

Eveline, A Painful Case, Two Gallants and Counterparts are all very well staged and keep to the original text quite a lot with a few side comments added to the characters’ dialogue which is a wonderful way of making Joyce’s text more accessible for the general reader, but for any diehard Joyceans I can see it getting quite irritating.

Transitions between the stories seem to have caused the company some problems – and I felt this could have been done more seamlessly – perhaps with characters gradually appearing and stories beginning while others were ending – maybe this could weaken meaningful endings however. For example, the transition for the rather slap stick humour of A Mother into the poignancy of The Dead was a bit problematic.

The decision to edit The Dead in such a way confuses me. The world over raves about this story – it is the most popular, most read, and polished of all of Joyce’s work so why edit it? A whole chunk of the story is missing and I felt it a little silly to presume the story would work without the back story of Gabriel and Greta’s marriage, their family live and place in society, which all work to build the story up to this beautiful final moment. I think the second half would have worked better if A Mother had been taken out and the full version of The Dead included.

The production is a real accomplishment for the Corn Exchange and I’d highly recommend it. I was disappointed with some of the decisions the company made but as a piece of theatre it is wonderfully entertaining, poignant, aesthetically very beautiful and of course, truly Dublin.

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Review: The Oh Fuck Moment at Filmbase

I’ve had way too many Oh Fuck moments than I care to remember – the innocent, fairly repairable ones likes spilling red wine at an aunt’s house and the heart in the mouth, oh-dear-fucking-god-what-have-I-done moments in work when you realised that there’s no turning back and you just have to face the music.

It’s refreshing then to meet some people who can share their own Oh Fuck moments and turn them around to make them feel like an affirmation of how wonderfully human you are, how you don’t subscribe to the belief that you’re always perfect and never mess up and how wonderful that is in itself as you have fully accepted your ability as a perfectly functioning human to fuck up every now and again.

The Oh Fuck Moment is just like yesterday’s ‘White Rabbit, Red Rabbit’ in that it is a welcome breath of fresh air. I went into Filmbase feeling a bit dreary and came out feeling great, rejoicing in the fact that I’ve made mistakes. It’s like a club really, the Oh Fuck club. We (i.e. I and my fellow audience members) shared our Oh Fuck moments and gave each other pats on the back for accepting our moments of ill-decision. Sitting around with cups of tea, we all laughed, sighed and gasped as tale after tale of ‘oh fuck’ moments were shared – some heart-breaking, some hysterical and others so unbearably relatable.

The Oh Fuck Moment isn’t comfortably labelled as theatre, I’d be quicker to describe it as a workshop of sorts, one that teaches you to deal with everything from the minor everyday fuck ups (spillages, slips of the tongue and such) to the major catastrophes such as totalling your car or telling your boss to fuck off. If you’re feeling the pressure to always deliver 100% without fault (who doesn’t feel that way?), then you’re due a visit to The Oh Fuck Moment – a relaxing piece of interactive performance with warm revelations about how you’re only normal if you fuck up every now and again – as James Joyce once said ‘a man’s errors are his portals of discovery’.

The Oh Fuck Moment plays in Filmbase until September 22. More info here >>

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