Tag Archives: 2014

Review: The Art of Wedlock at Chancery Lane Theatre

When you think about it – marriage, love, relationships, all that jazz  – it’s a bit mad to expect two people to live together for the rest of their lives. Always around each other. Always.

Yet we do it.

And we love it all the same.

Speckintime’s first theatrical production is a lively collection of rarely staged one-act plays:

THE PROPOSAL by Anton Chekhov
HERE WE ARE by Dorothy Parker
THE PROBLEM by A. R. Gurney
ENEMIES by Neith Boyce & Hutchins Hapgood

Moving from the classical and tradition to modern and new writing, the collection of plays explores the nature of love and relationships throughout all ages and backgrounds.

Meet Chekhov’s lovesick neighbour who can’t avoid an argument and get swept up in the hilariously silly arguments of Parker’s newlyweds.

Accents run amok in the production with the initial play throwing me slightly (the Russian accents are perhaps unnecessary here). Nevertheless, my ear grew accustomed to the changing accents and I found myself captivated by the range of characters and love stories.

I’m not a champion of the big red V day by any means, but The Art of Wedlock is an entertaining exploration of love and marriage throughout the ages using some fine writing and lively performances.

Plays at Chancery Lane Theatre until February 22. More info here.


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Review: Collected Stories at The Teachers’ Club

Stories lie behind stories in Company D Theatre’s newest production ‘Collected Stories’ currently playing at The Teachers’ Club on Parnell Square.

CollectedStoriesA small theatre space awaits you with a poignant, at times playful and evocative story of storytellers. Two women – one younger, one older form a tumultuous friendship that survives for years as they move through career highs and lows, illness and personal woes.

Donald Margulies’ story of a friendship that is found and lost is simply and delicately handled in the talented hands of actresses – Niamh Kavanagh and Noreen Fynes.

The story is simple, but for me this was the production’s strength, leaving room to explore the emotions that trickled through with each small turn in the story. These complicated webs of emotion build as the characters grow older through the years that Collected Stories spans, hand holding the audience through the friendship’s meanderings.

A great production combines storyline and performance. This small theatre company didn’t make the mistake of biting off more than it could chew and took a wonderful set of characters that are brought to live with two impressive performances to give you a night out at the theatre that leaves you with a lot of food for thought and definitely something to talk about on the way home.

For the record…I was in Ruth camp!

Plays at The Teachers’ Club until February 8 at 8pm.

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Review: Macbeth at Smock Alley

My first introduction to the wonders of theatre was in a stuffy classroom in fifth year, where we drudged our way through the awkward lines of Shakespeare’s Scottish play. Boredom drove me to the notes on the back of the curious smelling vintage copy I’d picked up in a secondhand store.

MacbethThe notes highlighted the fact that Macbeth is not seen on stage murdering Duncan and so, the audience remains sympathetic to his guilt. Mind blown. I’d never before understood that a playwright could really have that much influence on the audience just by such a small trick like that. And so I was hooked on theatre and all its intricacies.

Fast Intent’s currently production of Shakespeare tale of vaulting ambition uses the spooky interior of Smock Alley Theatre to superb effect with a cast of dark characters, subtle music and passionate performances.

The exposed brick wall, dusky lighting and high, tunnel-like ceiling transports the audience to a bygone era. If you’re not a Shakespeare fan then the dialogue can be tough going in parts but Macbeth is such a great tale of deceit and ambition that it remains a timeless classic.

Plays at Smock Alley until January 25.

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