Tag Archives: The New Theatre

Review: The Woolgather at The New Theatre

Wool_2Some plays can have you on the edge of your seat wondering what could possibly happen next, and others will have you more entranced by the everyday struggles of the very ordinary people in the world than you thought possible. Bill Mastrosimone’s The Woolgather by Blue Moon Theatre Company falls into the latter, with two captivating performances and an insight into the ability for hope to survive in the most unlikely of situations.

The Woolgather doesn’t have much in terms of storyline – it’s a straightforward boy meets girl, girl turns out to be a bit neurotic (a bit?!) and what do you know, so does the guy. How will they get on?

A lyrical play with some really beautiful lines combined with two very impressive actors (Sinéad O’Riordan and Michael Hough); The Woolgather is a captivating play that draws you in to a small, dingy apartment where you think nothing of any great interest could happen, opens up the troubles of the world to you and reveals the beauty in the struggles of life’s ordinary people.

Wool_1Without the strong performances and really great accents by both actors; The Woolgather would not have been as captivating or as realistic as it turned out to be.

If you’re looking for something to draw you in and get you thinking I’d recommend this play – along with the opportunity to witness two extremely impressive performances.

Plays until April 13, 7.30pm at the New Theatre. Click here for more details. Images copyright of Anita Kulon.

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Review: Bound at the New Theatre

Prostitution: The oldest profession in the world, yet it’s not taxed and somehow society seems to blame the suppliers and not the demanders for its existence.

If only those terrible women weren’t offering up their bodies then our society would be such a cleaner place.

I’m not the type to support this opinion, yet I wouldn’t describe myself as feminist. In general my opinion on the sex industry would be to each his own; yet No Tear’s Bound suggests that perhaps we should look at the prostitution industry a little closer and turn around the finger of blame.

Porn stars have the safety of the camera lens and the likes of poledancers are relatively safe away from the mayhem up on their podiums, but Bound works to prove to us the danger these ladies of the night put themselves in every night. From seedy child molesters to power-starved, failures of men; the types of men who attend brothels are not the type any women would like to trust themselves with in a room on their own.

Fallen women with dark pasts; society is not kind to the women who resort to selling their bodies. A litany of crude words exist but how do we describe the men who frequent their dark homes? This dark production which thankfully has its lighthearted moments, is a thoughtful examination on the sisterhood of women flung together in a hopeless situation.

The production itself deserves huge merit. A relatively new production company (established since 2009); No Tears have done a fine job in staging Bound. The cast was surprisingly large given that the play is modern but each actor showed raw talent and great energy on stage. In particular Caroline Harvey’s lovelorn Marolyn and Alison Fitzpatrick’s sassy Jess stood out while Aidan O’Rourke’s Mr. Dolphin gave me the chills.

Bound is at times giddy but then settles down to show the harshness of the sex industry on women for whom life has dealt a bad hand. Not without blame themselves; these ladies give a take on this hidden industry that is depressing, but also, surprisingly uplifting.

Plays at the New Theatre until October 27: Click for details on getting yourself some tickets

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Review: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the New Theatre

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 >>

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