herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

KIRWAN'S LATE-NIGHT TRIP THROUGH CITY MAKES FOR INCR EDIBLE theatre

DUBLIN OLDSCHOOL

JASON'S got a gig tonight. Only, he doesn't, really. Someone else will take his place, because the boss never keeps his promise. Or, y'know, Jason's too "f***ed" to man the decks.

It's a Bank Holiday weekend in Dublin - the 20-something DJ will get over it. Find something else to do; find a session; find his brother, perhaps.

They haven't spoken in a while. Daniel's a heroin addict. He's getting better, though (has been for years, apparently). A hedonistic, downward spiral through city-centre clubs, back alleys and someone else's gaff might bring them closer together.

Is young Emmet Kirwan trying to pull a Mark O'Rowe with Dublin Oldschool? There is, after all, a touch of Howie the Rookie at play. Indeed, Kirwan's mini odyssey of sorts often plants Jason bang, smack in the middle of a scenario he can't quite grasp. Could be the pills.

There are basement raves, hilltop raves, Garda drug busts, late-night romps with the ex, and a Tom & Jerry-style hole in his kitchen wall (a burly powder-sniffer couldn't use the door like everyone else).

Kirwan's playful, imaginative script allows for the frighteningly confident playwright and performer (he's cast himself in the lead role) to prove his worth as an inimitable showman and storyteller.

His chameleon-like co-star, the exceptional Ian Lloyd Anderson, holds his back, taking on a variety of roles. The brother. The boss. The Gardai. The coke-heads. And, of course, 'Dave the Rave', an inspired creation with all the best lines at all the right times.

RIOTOUS

Two microphones, minor special effects (glitter, bicycle lights, smoke) and one darkly funny, family-centred drama that juxtaposes spoken-word delights with emotionally-charged exchanges.

It's a riotous two-hander - when Kirwan takes the action from the stage to the floor, you don't know whether to move out of his way or keep perfectly still for fear of throwing the chap off. But this guy is incredible; a towering presence with a voice that was designed for holding an audience captive.

Try to keep up with the scintillating wordplay. It rarely, if ever, trips over the edge. There are lessons to be learned. Is Jason the one in trouble here? Were he and Daniel destined to fall down the rabbit hole from birth?

Who knows? The journey is what matters, and make no mistake, it's a hell of a story. A hell of a performance, too.

Running until September 14 hhhhh

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