Absolut Fringe review: As You Are Now So Once Were We

The trailer:

The blurb:

Why haven’t you read Ulysses? Ulysses is Dublin. You live in Dublin. So do we. Four actors in a city we don’t really know pick up the most important and unread book in Irish history and follow James Joyce as he invents a whole city and its people.

Except they’re doing it with cardboard boxes in the upstairs venue of the Project Arts Centre. The Company won last year’s Spirit of the Fringe award and I was cursing my luck not to have caught any of their performances that bagged them the accolade. So I got my tush in the door for the preview show of the tongue-twistedly titled ‘As You Are Now So Once Were We’.

It’s an interesting concept and an interesting execution of the idea. Straddling the worlds of theatre and performance art the four young actors take us on a uinque trip through their day in Dublin.

It was enjoyable performance with plenty of laughs along the way and some great choreography but Tanya’s sequence of forgetfulness about halfway through seemed to make the whole show lose its rhythm a little. Maybe that was the point – who knows?!

I’m marking it as “just wasn’t for me” or possibly I wasn’t in the right frame of mind as I never really engaged with it. Still worth seeing though and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more productions by The Company down the road.

Catch it Monday to Wednesday at 9pm at the Project Arts Centre. Tickets are €14 and available here from the Absolut Fringe website.

3 thoughts on “Absolut Fringe review: As You Are Now So Once Were We”

  1. Hiya Kate!

    Thanks for the comment! To be perfectly honest, I have never even attempted Ulysses so I haven’t a clue how it references the book. I got the impression that if you were familiar with it then the show might be a bit more engaging.

    Tempted to try speed read it and catch the last show on Wednesday? :)

  2. I had the chance to study the great book itself in college, so I was intrigued as to how they are going to bring it into a play. My guess is that the structure of the novel is going to influence the structure of the play. The Times referred to it as a cubist play and there’s lots of cubism in Ulysses so perhaps that’s it….hmmmmm…I think I’ll just have to go and find out myself!

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