Tag Archives: absolut fringe

Absolut Fringe review: Shane Byrne left his SLEEPING BAG in the car again…

Part of the THEATREclub trio of shows in this year’s Fringe, this show follows along in the vein of Shane’s previous one-man gig, ‘Group Therapy For One’.

“I am sick of talking about being young. I have to do this in order to grow up.”

So Shane takes us back to the golden days of youth, specifically to the days of being in Scouts, also termed his period of “immersive research” for this piece.

It’s a really charming production – quite poignant at times and nostalgic even you were never in Scouts through the carefully chosen soundtrack of various songs anchoring the memories in the late 90′s. Shane’s charisma, charm and brilliant wit make for a lovely interactive and chuckle-filled experience.

I left it with a smile on face and a smille in my heart – not much more you can ask for on a rainy Monday night.

It’s running at Smock Alley until Friday at 7.15, grab a ticket here or pick up a ’3 for €32′ for all 3 THEATREclub shows here.

Absolut Fringe Beginners – tips for Fringe virgins

Over the last few days since Fringe kicked off I’ve heard something similar to this a number of times:

“I’ve always meant to go to something in the Fringe but I’ve no idea where to start.”

You could probably debate the reasons for this till the cows come home but in my opinion the Fringe programme is quite overwhelming. There’s over 100 different shows to choose from spread over 2 weeks – it’s a pretty big sweetshop. Last year was the first time I threw myself into Fringe and it has since become my favourite festival of the entire year.

I would love for even one person who has thought about going to a Fringe show for the first time to make the plunge and tell me what they think so here’s a few tips and pointers on catching some Fringe action over the next 10 days.

Book your tickets asap

Fringe booking opened a few weeks before the festival kicked off but booking really takes off once word gets out about what’s hot and what’s not. Once you’ve eyed up a show or 2, book them quick. You can do this online via www.fringefest.com.

I’m up for a laugh.

Super. Then there’s plenty to choose from. The most chuckles I’ve had at Fringe so far has been at ‘Shane Byrne left his SLEEPING BAG in the car again…’ – funny, nostalgic, poignant in places and particularly entertaining if you were ever in Scouts. If it’s laugh-a-minute stuff you’re after, catch The Pyjama Men.

I’m up for a challenge.

Excellent. HEROIN is my favourite of all shows I’ve seen in Fringe so far. I have a quick review here. If you’re made of strong stuff then try Jerk. Based on a true story of serial murderers in the 1970s told in very graphic horrific detail through puppetry and guttural sound effects – stunning technique but prepare to be shocked.

I want something very now.

Of course the current economic climate makes it into the programme. Maybe try ‘We’re all in the gutter’ or ‘The Cappucino Culture‘ for boom aftermath insights from our new multicultural population.

I fancy something a bit out of the ordinary.

How about seeing a show in a crumbling Georgian mansion on Georges Street? Check out ‘From The Heart‘.

I’m broke.

Fret not – there’s a list of free events right here. Escape form the Dead Zoo is catching my eye in particular.

Tickets for Fringe shows usually average out around €15 which ain’t too bad at all. Take a punt on something. You might love it, you might hate it, but at least give it a go!

Sifting through the programme

What you might find easier is looking at what’s on day by day or by category, both available on http://www.fringefest.com/2010-programme. The iPhone app is free to download and pretty handy too, especially the day by day guide and Google map integration of all the venues around town.

Hang on to your ticket(s) too for some really nice deals in eateries around the city, full list available here.

See you out there!

Absolut Fringe review: HEROIN

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of THEATREclub and I’ve got last year’s Fringe to thank for that. That said, my approach to their first show (one of three) in this year’s programme was mixed. I arrived with expectations subdued. I left mesmerised and in awe of writer and director Grace Dyas.

“HEROIN is the story you were never told about the new republic, of the person you never saw, of what you built and them demolished.”

2 years in the making, HEROIN is a compelling and powerful portrayal of a dark side of Dublin that I know little about and receives little attention now that the only story in town is the recession.

I wish there was a record of my life. Like CCTV.

Three characters – Barry, Ryan and Lauren – play actors who each want to tell their story. Barry is the cornerstone of the show – he directs and narrates the performance as well as telling his own experience of life tainted by heroin. He delivered the most powerful performance I have seen in Fringe or indeed on stage in quite a while.

It’s fine though coz none of this is really happening. They’re telling us it’s not happening.

You could feel a sort of a magnetic tension in the room as the audience got increasingly drawn into the emotional, sad and difficult story unfolding.

It’s no accident that HERION has been getting four star reviews from the Irish Times and Irish Theatre Magazine. I’ve had the bones of this review sitting in draft since Friday because I simply don’t know how to do it justice.

Go and see it before it ends in Smock Alley this Friday. Book the individual show or get all 3 THEATREclub shows for €32 via links on their page www.theatreclubbing.com.

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.

Absolut Fringe review: My Life In Dresses

Have you seen this dress?

“It’s all memories”.

Sorcha Kenny loves dresses. More specifically, she loves vintage dresses and not simply for the look or feel of them but for their stories and experiences.

A few months ago Sorcha embarked on a quest to collect these stories from around the country via her blog – http://mylifeindresses.wordpress.com. The show takes us through a sample of the dresses and their stories filled with nostalgia, tears and laughter.

One of my favourite moments was during the submission “dresses made special by a former lover”. With an accompanying photograph the contributor describes her “dress of power”:

“I only wore it when I wanted to manipulate him.”

The knowing chuckles and shrieks of laughter through the mostly female audience was just brilliant.

I felt the overall show lacked a bit of continuity and flow but then again, it was a preview show so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. While I wouldn’t say it’s exclusively for girls, it will strike more of a chord with the ladies. Either way, a fun way to pass an hour for less than €15.

You can catch My Life In Dresses at the Project Arts Centre every night this week at 7pm until Saturday. Grab your tickets at the Absolut Fringe website or here on the Project Arts Centre website.