ARTYFACTS: Dublin by Lamplight - Day 7

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dublin by Lamplight - Day 7

I found it took me some while to warm to this production, but once in, it was deeply satisfying. A confection of masks, mime, sound effects, voiced explanation and clever execution makes this memorable. There's no set but your imagination is stimulated by superb performances from the almost manikin-like players who keep your eyes fixed on their movement and your ears on the excellent script.

It rattles along at pace and the 'plays' on 'plays' give it enough media ambiguity to satisfy intellectual curiosity. Whether it works in terms of seeing 'theatre' as politically relevant is another question. Just because something is Irish, set in Dublin and featuring bombs and insurrection, doesn't give it political edge.

The lone piano player, the white masks and the mimed acts reminded me of silent film but with the subtitles, both voices and explanations, spoken. There are no props, sound effects are produced by the actors but it is the script that excels.

Why was the Upper Circle closed off? Is it unsafe?


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