Friday, May 16, 2014

Project Arts Centre, 'Boys and Girls': Here Comes the Night Time

From Dublin's spoken word scene, Dylan Coburn Gray's verse drama sets four college students loose for a night. 

May 13-17
Project Arts Centre

My review of Boys and Girls by Dylan Coburn Gray coming up just as soon it's unreal how painfully sexy your cigarette is ...

Take the Birds and the Bees, booze them with psychoactive verse, watch as they vomit the results on the footpath in front of The Academy, and you've got the quintessence of Dylan Coburn Gray's drama.

Boys and Girls struts swayingly after four college students, each navigating that brave new world of partying and sex. Their efforts are propped uncomfortably, like a head resting against a bad pillow, between woo and woe.

Ronan Carey's porn-watching philanderer may have no problem calling himself a misogynist. However, he is prepared to change into something more chivalrous for a certain girl, who he curiously describes as "Tall and thin / With a body like a violin".

From the opposite end of the spectrum comes Seán Doyle's singleton, who after having a girlfriend throughout his childhood is left uncertain about the rituals of seduction. Moulded "Too wholesome / Too winsome and then some / To ever fu*king get some", his sensitivities include a prohibition of saying the 'C' word.

Not that "cu*t" is in shy use by Maeve O'Mahony's composed seductress, who has her rules ("An erection from behind should only be by invitation") but doesn't fully conform to courtship ("I'd rather be fine-wined and dated / Or, y'know, just fucked").

Finally, Claire O'Reilly tunefully controls a young woman in a tired relationship during one of its milestones. Like the rest of the characters in this piece she tries to do the right thing: "I'm tired, I want to go to bed / So I give him head / Happy Anniversary!"

Yes, it's a smutty script but there is something quite intimate about Dylan Coburn Gray's production, with its paired back design elements and lack of physicality. The verse is spellbinding as it gives shapes to those intimacies for which we down our drinks and pop pills, a self-possession that allows us to go in for the kiss (and, c'mon, hopefully more).

The night turns out to be heroic in parts and not all that fateful, which is perhaps truer to real life. It feels like a hymn for those boys and girls queuing to get into Coppers, chasing tail on a Saturday night. At the end of the day, aren't we all just looking for connection?

What did everybody else think?

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