Many different ingredients come together in this highly imaginative co-production by Gate and Theater Lovett. Written by Louis Lovett and Nico Brown, it is a version of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a foot soldier who is in love with a paper ballerina but misfortune and passivity prevent him from achieving his heart’s desire. stops.
The story of Ere the Tin Soldier is used as a prism through which to view the story of Anderson’s ultimately lonely life. We first meet him as an older man, played by Lovett himself. There have been some good swipes at Disney’s appropriation of many of Anderson’s stories. We hear about the poor upbringing of young Hans and his trip to Copenhagen at the age of 14 to try to pursue a career in theatre. A family takes him in, and he finds himself attracted to both son and daughter.
A deadly jack-in-the-box from the tale of the Tin Soldier becomes an alter ego to investigate Anderson’s internal conflicts. Dancer/choreographer Kevin Coquellard plays the character, primarily a dance role. Lovett ventriloquiz and Coquellard mouths words as he walks; These moments are pure dramatic magic and director Muiren Ahern plays them up perfectly.
Singer Olesya Zadorovetska has a rich theatrical voice, but her contribution seems to be associated with the drama rather than integral. Composer and composer Conor Linehan adds to the cabaret experience as a pianist on stage. The role of a young boy (Theo Cosgrave and Arthur Peregrine) is a reminder that Anderson himself was a boy soprano, but again, this element may have been better integrated.
The context of the war in Europe, the Prussian invasion of Jutland, brings together past and present in an unsettling way, with explosive echoes provided by Carl Kennedy’s sound design. Sinead Lawler’s costumes are highly inventive, prominent well against the dark background of Jamie Vartan’s frame-in-frame set.
Coquelard’s floppy jack-in-the-box is highly memorable and one of the best creations of a disruptive alter ego on stage. Lovett’s consummate central performance holds mostly unrelenting energy together. But there’s a lot going on here and the central story of an emotionally underdeveloped man is finally filled with a lot of material.
James Joyce’s Contemporary Treatment
Dubliners at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin
video of the day
until June 24
Made by Smock Alley and Corn Exchange, this new version of Dubliners Leans into the contemporary moment to give us a James Joyce that feels a lot more alive. This is no major version in petticoats, straw hats and high blouses; Bloomsday Heritage Twi has no scent. The characters hang out on street corners, flirting with each other and banging their heads. The graffiti-dubbed, urban decay of set designer Sarah Bacon is the backdrop. But the style is upbeat and energetic.
Adapted by Annie Ryan and Michael West, and directed by Ryan, we get eight of the 15 stories: Fight; Evelyn; two heroes; boarding houses, Then an interval, followed by: a small cloud; equivalent; a painful affair and end of dead, The adaptation combines narration and dialogue, often with characters describing their own lives, which works well.
It is presented in a largely realistic style, with the exception of counterparts which uses some of the commedia-dell’art energy for which the Corn Exchange is noted. It’s a delightful version of the stories and a reminder that the power of great writing is hard to beat. The eight-actor ensemble all did well, but Fiona Brown’s Mrs. Mooney did boarding houses Contains the essence: witty, mildly lewd, upwardly mobile, practical, and most deeply and certainly a Dubliner.