A couple of months back I went along to The Secret Act of Murder at Smock Alley. Back then it was a work in progress and now it’s grown and also shrunk itself into a piece of theatre to be reckoned with … or at least attended anyway.
Last time ’round the play gave a lot of information on the events leading up the Marlowe’s death, so much so that it perhaps got a bit too bogged down in the finer details. This time, a shorter version of they play seems to have found its feet a bit more and the audience are brought on a more lively journey with Marlowe through the events leading to his curious death.
Post-modern self consciousness interrupts the play at intervals to allow the cast and crew wonder if they’re really doing the story justice – have they really found the truth?
Five Gallants have worked through a crazy amount of research and a complicated series of events dating all the way back to the late 1500s. At first it seemed they’d become consumed by the sheer volume of information they’d compiled but with this latest production, the company have gained ground and are currently staging a piece of theatre that combines great performances with music, verse and movement to tell the tale of a man wronged and betrayed for questioning the given truth.
Well worth a visit, especially if you’re like me and went last time ’round – you’ll be amazed by how much the production has changed.
How you can go:
Plays as part of the Fringe Festival at Smock Alley Theatre nightly until September 21 at 9.15pm. Grab some tickets here.
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 >>
A whole host of great performers (Stephen Rea, Olwen Fouere and Peter Daly amongst others) have signed up to be ‘the actor’ in Nassim Soleimanpour’s play ‘White Rabbit, Red Rabbit’ which is currently being staged in The New Theatre as part of the Fringe Festival, so with such high calibre performers it must be good!
Beginning with a quick reveal of that day’s performer (in my case comedienne Maeve Higgins); the play moves pretty quickly with ‘the actor’ reading a script they see for the very first time when they step on the stage in front of the audience. The script weaves between insane yet meaningful tales and an explanation of the structure of the play from the playwright who ponders on to whom and where it is being performed today.
A highly self-conscious playwright, Soleimanpour refuses to serve military duty in his homeland of Iran and is therefore refused a passport by the Iranian government. Instead of creeping around after people on Facebook like your average geographically restricted stalker; he has taken to writing this play which is, as he describes it, his passport to the world. It is his way of telling his tales to people in countries he may never visit. Requesting the audience members to carry out certain tasks, play certain roles and take pictures to be emailed to him; Soleimanpour is very much the central character in this highly interactive play.
Maeve Higgins did a wonderful reading of a script which was full of surprises for both her and the audience and while all the way off in Iran, I very much felt as if Soleimanpour was with us in the theatre – in fact I thought for a moment he may walk through the door or reveal himself as one of the audience members.
Sometimes a piece of theatre can be simply an entertaining story well told through script and performance, and other times it can be an obscure piece of theatre which challenges the way we perceive the world and turns strongly held opinions upside-down; however White Rabbit, Red Rabbit has managed to combine lovely stories with a play that is simply constructed and also happily, very unique too. A breath of fresh air that’s not to be missed (unless you really, really don’t like audience participation!), catch White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the New Theatre until September 22 at 1pm each day (except tomorrow) – more info here >>