Thursday, September 14, 2006

REVIEW: On This One Night (Nr. Spencer Dock, Dublin)

Did you ever see a show that was so awful you wanted to leave before it even began? There is a thin line between "barely tolerable" and "unspeakable rubbish." On This One Night, spends the majority of its forty-five minutes of freestyle babble on the unhappy side of that line.

Okay, Brokentalkers, the company responsible for this "event," make it clear from the gitgo that they hate their audience. They punish us by making us gather outside, sheltering under an eave from the pouring rain, before guiding us to a mystery location -- some 20 yards from where we have shivered -- and then leaving us to contemplate dull electronic drones for a few minutes, before inviting us into the performance space.

It is, however, when the actors get to work, the real punishment begins. The show consist of a group of haltingly performed monologues and, er, dramaticules, – one from the woman in the short red dress with the heavy eyeliner, one from the skinny guy in Speedos and inflatable armbands, one from the small figure with its face wrapped in bandages, one from the posh chap attempting to asphyxiate himself.

The sad thing is that all but one of the evening's components has something to be said for it. The problem is that almost nothing that happens in the performance – not the silly use of CCTV, the daft dances, the hokey costumes – serves any useful purpose. Pare away this bumbling, misguided 'staging,' let the characters tell their stories and suddenly everything would be immediately 50 per cent better.

The nicest possible explanation is that what went down here was not really what anybody intended. Yes, let's just hope that's what happened.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke,

Sorry to leave this here, but where else could I? I wanted to just say thanks for SoundStories.

I dare say it changed my life a little bit.

Jon
New Jersey

5:36 AM  
Blogger luke clancy said...

:-)

1:51 PM  
Blogger luke clancy said...

This show won this year's Fringe "Sexiest Show" Award. Maybe it got much, much better after the first night. Or maybe it just goes to show that one man's nightmare, is another man's primo turn-on. So it goes.

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw it and thought it was TERRIBLE! Style over substance is a cliché but true here. The write up in the Fringe brochure suggested so much more than what actually happened...

10:57 AM  
Blogger luke clancy said...

...but i wouldnt say it had much style either...

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Maebh said...

when it was bad it was very bad and when it was good it was very good. methinx.

4:37 PM  

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