Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sugarglass Theatre and Gillen & Belling Productions, 'LAPSE'

With almost sorcerous sensibility, Sugarglass realise magician Shane Gillen's performance about memory. 

Smock Alley Theatre
July 3-12

I've never reviewed a magic show before but I thought LAPSE was worth a few words. Plus, it's co-produced by Sugarglass Theatre, whose work I often admire. 

Through the lens of memories of his deceased grandfather Roddy, magician Shane Gillen's performance explores memory, its substance and transference. His tricks have audience members participate in mind-bending illusions - how he stays a step ahead of the crowd is a mystery. 

With production support by Sugarglass Theatre, Marc Atkinson and Colm McNally continue to provide effervescent design. Atkinson isolates the different acts with an almost sorcerous sensibility, instilling a space obscured by smoke and mystically transformed by incandescent lighting. 

If you are to consider it dramaturgically, you might think Gillen's references to memory theorists and scientists, while heavy handed and not easily absorbed, to be filler between tricks rather than making any considerable point. The finale is also one of the few predictable moments in the evening. 

I wouldn't let it restrain you. Gillen is magnetic, his tricks maddening and unquestionably convincing. Even if his explorations of memory mightn't materialise fully, LAPSE will certainly stay with you for a long time.

What did everybody else think?

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