Ciara Elizabeth Smyth's agile new farce interrupts a young couple's house-warming.
The New Theatre, Dublin Fringe Festival
My review of All honey by Ciara Elizabeth Smyth coming just as soon as I tell someone so you won't murder me ...
From the first door-slam in Ciara Elizabeth Smyth’s agile new farce, the odds of a young couple’s housewarming going smoothly are lowered. One half of this pair, Luke, has just suspiciously slipped away when the other half, Ru, arrives with her friend Mae, who suspects her boyfriend Barry is cheating on her. That might sound unnecessarily convoluted but under Jeda de Brí’s steadfast direction it's intriguingly tangled.
As Danielle Galligan’s Ru and Ashleigh Dorrell’s Mae nimbly excavate a plot development - the discovery of a stranger’s nightgown in Barry’s house - fun discrepancies emerge between the two. Dorrell, prudish and on edge, recoils as Galligan, a picture of charisma, speaks her mind. Such are the broad strokes of this welcoming world, that the black and white stripes of Sinead Purcell’s apartment set will find their place in a room full of pastels.
In performance, David Fennelly’s awkward Luke, Keith Jordan’s oddly charming Barry and Smyth’s screwy Val (a houseguest constantly reinventing herself) knit together a comedy so tightly, its structural weaknesses aren’t always obvious. But for every overstretched gag (Mae’s calming techniques, for instance) there is an improbable twist (the plot turns out to be quite open-minded, sexually). Harder to hide is the question of its ending, which feels incomplete. Smyth’s farce could cut deep. It certainly has a cast deft enough to show it.
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