Theatre Review: The Bear’s Tuxedo in the Theatre Upstairs

THE-BEARS-TUXEDO002

This was a bit of a treat last week. I didn’t know much about the play, so went along with an open mind. I just barely made it in time (stupid traffic!) to the Theatre Upstairs at Lanigan’s Bar, Eden Quay, to catch Keith James Walker’s new play, The Bear’s Tuxedo. THE BEAR’S TUXEDO takes you on a cosmic journey through the torn flamboyant fibres of one man’s being. That man is the mercurial Billy Sendoza. Billy is a gay Californian funeral director with an attachment to the arcane and a penchant for the preposterous. Join Billy as he swaps the sands of Southern California for the unforgiving scorched desert of Mexico on a journey of personal redemption. THE BEAR’S TUXEDO is a surreal exploration of how one man’s inability to separate his dreams from reality contaminates and distorts not only his own life, but the lives of those around him. … There’s more

Theatre Review: Best Man in the @ProjectArts Theatre

bestman1

Performances in the Project Arts Theatre can be hit and miss. The very experimental nature of the space means that I’ve seen some amount of self-indulgent tripe mixed in with some brilliantly innovative, insightful plays. In the past two weeks, I’ve had a lot of luck. Last week, I finally caught Mark O’Rowe’s Howie the Rookie, a two-act two-monologue play of an urban Dublin odyssey. The Howie starts the story and the Rookie finishes it out. Both parts are played by Love/Hate’s Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and it truly was an acting masterclass. That’s how it’s supposed to be done. This week, the Project was transported to boomtime Ireland for Carmel Winters’ Best Man. Actually, it’s something of a cliched tale, where the suburbanite couple (one breadwinner, one stay-at-home spouse) bring in a hot, foreign nanny to look after their emotionally neglected children, leading to sexual tension and the re-evaluation of all … There’s more

Review: Aladdin – The Pantomime @ Solstice Theatre Navan

St Mary’s Musical Society present a fantastic panto and this year it’s Aladdin that gets the ultimate panto makeover. The show opens with the baddest of baddies, Abanezer (Rich Cullen) reciting his evil rhyming plot to get his gnarly, undulating fingers on the magic lamp. The audience was sold straight away. Rich plays a fantastically evil but lovable panto baddie. I wanted to cheer everytime he came on rather than the obligatory boo. The curtains open to reveal a North African souk and after the first energetic, well-choreographed and performed musical number, featuring what seems like a cast of hundreds, the audience is introduced to Aladdin (Ultan O’Cinneide), his brother, Wishy Washy (Matt McGuirk), the Princess Jasmine (Tracy Armstrong) and her lady in waiting, So Shy (Aoife Hoey). There follows a rather madcap, all singing, all dancing, all heart clutching and star gazing, child beating and knicker washing version of … There’s more

Theatre Review: Bookworms in The Abbey Theatre

I went along to see Bernard Farrell’s Bookworms in The Abbey Theatre on Wednesday. Check out my thoughts on it below. Bookworms plays from February 9th until to March 17th in The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and here’s a few links I mention in the video:

In Theatre: The Muse Unbidden by Roger Gregg

THE MUSE UNBIDDEN by Roger Gregg.  The Jack Burdell Experience. THE MUSE UNBIDDEN follows the journeys of self-discovery of several would-be poets enrolled in a Performance Poetry Workshop led by a charismatic unconventional Performance Poet.  Using music and dream diaries, the hapless participants  are cajoled into finding and surrendering to their personal Muses.  As their Workshop progresses they travel a rollicking Odyssey of confession and self-expression as they give voice to their obsessions, desires, wit, pain, and memories. For some their uninhibited revelry in self-expression leads to joyous catharsis, for others to grief and loss.  This innovative musical satire written and directed by Roger Gregg, features a live soundscore performed by a cast of mult-talented actor-musicians including Donncha O’Dea and Noni Stapleton.   Produced by The Jack Burdell Experience as part of their Collaborations Festival, THE MUSE UNBIDDEN runs for one week only Smock Alley Boys School Theatre from Monday 13 … There’s more

Trailer: The Wheelchair on My Face

The ever-innovative gang over at axis theatre sent us their spring programme. It’s jammers with good stuff but the standout highlight for us is this offering from Fishamble: It’s running from February 27th to March 2nd nightly at 8pm. We may have picked it because we also look back on our nerdface childhoods through bottle-thick glasses, so in the interests of catering to the tastes of the many, we also recommend April’s lunchtime theatre offering Let’s Talk Dirty running from the 23rd-27th; the screening of Meet Me in St Louis on February 27th and Brian Friel’s The Loves of Cass Maguire from 8th-12th of May. Plenty more cultured goodness listed on their website which is linked above. Thanks for the heads up guys, we’re all whet about it.

Events: PoP Up! Theatre

Are you looking for something different to do? Are you an aspiring thespian? Do you love the theatre? Well, PoP up! Theatre is where you need to be! PoP Up! Theatre is a night of sporadic theatre, scenes, monologues, beer and entertainment. With scenes from well-known plays with a bit of a twist added to some completely original material, this promises to be a surprise theatre event. A little bit neurotic, extremely narcissistic, touching, innocent and raw all at the same time. Gary Jones, one of the organisers behind PoP Up explained to me that the aim is to put on an interesting and ‘outside the norm’ evening’s worth of entertainment.” I have a sneaky feeling there may be a lot of laughter involved in the evening’s entertainment too! Sure why wouldn’t you want to come along? Where: Slattery’s Pub, Rathmines, Dublin 6 When: Friday 10th Feb Time: 8.30pm Cost: … There’s more

Rainbow’s End – Children’s Theatre Review

I battled the crazed sale shopper traffic and armageddonous weather to take my kids to see Rainbow’s End in The Mill Theatre, Dundrum on the 29th December. An Ofegus Theatre production, we were promised ‘everything from confused Fairies to missing Princes, good Witches to evil Wizards and kidnapped Princesses to Pirates-in-disguise’ and indeed they were all present. The story is that the Kingdom of Enchantasia is in big trouble. The Crown Prince is lost at sea, there’s also a missing brokenhearted princess from a neighbouring kingdom, all the important witches and wizards are off at a conference and now all the rainbows have disappeared, much to the chagrin of the leprachauns, Mulligan (Richard Shaffrey) and Dedalus (Stephen Gorman). Much of this background is established through a dialogue between Princesses Abigail and Melisande (Louise Guyett and Diane Jennings) that I’m not sure all the children grasped but the arrival of the … There’s more

Theatre Review: B for Baby @ The Peacock Stage, Abbey Theatre

B and Dee are residents of a care home for the mentally challenged, where Mrs C has a weekend job as a carer. Mrs C’s marriage is under severe strain, as her long-nurtured desire for a child is at odds with her husband’s conviction that they should accept their failure to conceive and get on with their lives. In B for Baby, Carmel Winters brings us through a series of encounters that will have a dramatic effect on the relationships of these four characters. It’s a striking production, from the set design (a blue, clouded sky curving back from the audience, props hanging in the wings waiting to be brought in) to the way Michele Moran and Louis Lovett each take on two wildly differing roles. But some of the details seem a bit arbitrary — that blue sky doesn’t really add to the experience beyond the initial aesthetic impact, … There’s more

Theatre: Arthur Miller’s Resurrection Blues

Neil Curran of Laughalot Improv has many hats. This Novemeber his drama group No Drama Theatre are staging their next production, Arthur Miller’s Resurrection Blues. The story is set in an unnamed Latin American country that is painfully third world. The plot revolves around a captured prisoner who may or may not be the second coming of Christ. He is said to be able to perform miracles such as walking through walls, a major problem for the prison guards, and, because his popularity among the impoverished citizens, the military dictator of the nation has sentenced him to be crucified. This creates many moral dilemmas with the play’s cast of characters. Knowing No Drama Theatre, this is something not to be missed! Tickets are available here: http://nodramablues.eventbrite.com Where: Teacher’s Club Theatre on Parnell Sq When: 15 – 19th Novemeber 2011 Cost: €13.47 including booking fee

Events: The Importance of Being Earnest

Happening at site-specific locations North and South of the Liffey, you’re in for a treat no matter where you live as Core Youth Theatre are bringing their production of The Importance of Being Earnest to both Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park and Marlay House in Marlay Park. Kicking off this Saturday (20th) in Farmleigh at 2.30pm, tickets are Free of charge but are limited and must be booked in advance from www.farmleigh.ie. Following on from this, on Monday August 22nd, the production moves to Marlay House where tickets are €15 and can be purchased through the Betty Ann Norton Theatre School on (01) 2805921 with a limited amount available at the door. Wilde is always worth seeing and especially with the opportunity to catch a production in period surrounds. Recommended!

Theatre: Hay Fever @ The Gate

Having managed to get this far in life without seeing a Noel Coward play on the stage, we put things to rights at a preview showing of Hay Fever at The Gate two weeks ago. It was brilliant and you should go to see it. It was my first time in The Gate and I was entirely taken with the counter selling tea and KitKats at the interval (there’s also a bar if you’re so inclined…) Hay Fever is an entirely undated comedy about an eccentric family, the Blisses (parents Judith and David and grown up children Sorrel and Simon) who each, unbeknownst to the others, has invited a guest to their country pile for the weekend. The laughs ensue as each one makes a hash of entertaining – from Sorrel who’s trying to shrug off years of family convention to be a proper hostess to her guest Mr Greatham, … There’s more

Theatre: The Living Room

Fledging theatre company Outlandish Theatre have been in touch to give us a head’s up about their debut production ‘The Living Room’. Based on the ancient tale Bluebeard (which scared the bejaysus out of at least one member of the Culch.ie team as a child) it’s being performed in a ‘Georgian living room space’ at the Pearse Centre on Pearse Street and it’s happening from Mon 15th – Sun 21st of August at 8 pm, Matinees Thur/Sat/Sun at 2pm. The official blurb goes: “Story-telling is Mother Maria’s religion. Maria believes that the power of ‘Bluebeard’, an ancient Eastern European folk tale about sexual curiosity and the loss of innocence, will keep her daughter Lena from marrying Sebastian and ensure she stays with her forever. All Daughter Lena wants is to escape from her mother’s reign. Every night at 12 pm ‘story-time’ begins and the  battle between the old and the new, and the eternal powers … There’s more

Human Sacrifice in Cork.

Bit of a stretch, holding this in Cork, isn’t it? Where’re they gonna get a virgin? The inaugural Solstice Festival, an offshoot of the Cork Midsummer Festival, has been ticking away playfully on the third floor of the Old FÁS building since Thursday. The Solstice festival finishes tomorrow, so to see it off with a bang they’ve teamed up with Dublin-based performance collective Come As Soon As You Hear to present Human Sacrifice, an evening of DJs, dancing and … er … virgin bloodshed at the Midsummer Festival’s Spiegeltent. Taking the idea of a closing party wickedly literally, no? Kicking off at 10pm at Murphy’s Midsummer Nights at The Spiegeltent, the event will see a pretty young virgin pay the ultimate price as a gesture of gratitude to The Gods for a bountiful harvest. Dress to distress and don’t forget your dancing shoes as DJs Conor Behan and Joey Kavanagh … There’s more

HONEST at The Matchbox Theatre

The Matchbox Theatre is a brand new theatre venue on South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2 underneath what is now known as ‘Le Café Des Irlandais’ and formerly Café Bar Deli. Intrigued as much as ever by the place as well as the event taking place in it, I headed down to the basement of Le Café Des Irlandais not quite sure what to expect. The Matchbox Theatre was intimate and cosy with plush black curtains on walls, a black and white marble-looking floor, lit by candle light with generous glasses of wine being distributed and old mahogany cafe tables and chairs. To give you the scale of the place, I was reminded of the upstairs comedy club in the International…but size is where the similarities end. As they say themselves: An atmospheric and accessible new venue, The Matchbox Theatre promises to be the perfect location for intimate performances, theatrical … There’s more