With Generation Emigration packing their bags, a young woman picks her battles at home. Photo: Clíona Ní Laoi.
Bewley's Cafe Theatre @ Powerscourt, Tiger Dublin Fringe
A quick review of The Wickedness of Oz by Kate Gilmore coming up just as soon as my mother reminds me to lay off the Malibu …
Whether you click your heels three times or stumble in them after a couple of shots, the journey home often isn’t straightforward. In Kate Gilmore’s new drama for Fishamble’s Show in a Bag series, that means staying put. While other early twenty-somethings hear the call of Australia, Gilmore’s Debbie wants to stay in Dublin with her tactless boyfriend and bereaved parents.
There’s no place like home. But Debbie requires the softening strains of Judy’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the sassy hooks of Liza’s You’ve Got to See Mama to cope. In case you’re wondering why modern malaise is being shot through lens tinted by Hollywood’s silver age, Debbie is a performer, hesitant to pursue her potential. In fact, it comes to light that her life is on standby, caught in the complexities of grief and by a family that don’t know how to move forward.
Under Clare Maguire’s direction, Gilmore gives a nice picture of self-doubt, stirred by rich impressions of an irritating boss and a men-bashing aunt (“Men are dogs, and dogs bark”). However, there’s such a flurry of extraneous detail in the script, you’ll wonder what purpose is served by that once mentioned school-musical star or that peer who once ribbed on Debbie’s fancy dress. Playing the Powerscourt auditorium in the thrust also feels excessive without any discovery of why to stress upstage and downstage, distance and proximity.
What did everybody else think?