Saturday, September 15, 2018

The PeopleSway review: Artists addressing the housing crisis how they know best

Grainne O Carroll's promenade production drags otherworldly displays down to ground.

MLV Studios, Dublin Fringe Festival 
Sep 13-15

My review of The PeopleSway by Dance Among Other Things coming up just as soon as I stretch my hands like an accordion ...

Inside a dark abandoned business park, charmed by filament light bulbs, there are signs of another world. Greeted by the impressive feats of a juggler, and the vague premonitions of a fortune-teller, it seems we’re on our way to a funfair. 

There’s something refreshing about director Grainne O Carroll’s promenade production for Dance Among Other Things. Many Fringe shows feel like they come from the Theatre Studies common room but this energetic collective - combining visual art, movement and music - are more likely to bring a spectacle to Body & Soul. 

The balancing acts of street performers, with allusions to Commedia dell’Arte, might impress as opposed to push a plot forward. Similarly, breath-taking wooden sculptures by Geraldine Coakley and Paddy O’Kearney seem to be here for their own sake. Yet, an otherworldly display suddenly lands close to home as puppets rearrange to form a family, against descriptions of the North Frederick Street occupation.

Though much of the performance grammar comes from the flashy bravura of spectacle, this is a heartfelt effort by artists addressing the housing crisis how they know best. 

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