I’ve never actually been in Cassidy’s pub before this, but it’s one of those old buildings on Westmoreland street that you rarely look up at. All those buildings are four or five stories, but all you see from street level is the Spar or Abrakebara on the pavement that you busily scurry by. To say that this event/ happening/ play took place in Cassidys pub is not quite accurate. It’s actually beneath and (more excitingly) above Cassidys pub, as you are left to your own devices to wander the inner workings of this strange old building and meet the many inhabitants therein.
While this isn’t the first piece of immersive theatre that has taken place in Dublin, It is the first I’ve been to where the structure has been left down to the individual to see what they want to see. All Hell Lay Beneath is loosely based around the Hermann Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf, where the main protagonist Harry Haller, a young disenchanted dreamer, meets the beautiful Hermine who introduces him to the various vices and indulgences of the time and eventually to the Magic theatre, a place where the fantasies of the mind are real. The introductory piece in basement of Cassidy’s bar spells out as much as you need to know about the plot before releasing you into the strange world above of their very own Magic Theatre.
All Hell lay beneath finishes tonight (and is sold out!), but I’d be optimistic it may make a return at some point. Sugarglass Theatre company are certainly ones to watch. One of the most exciting things about it is that those involved are mostly recent theatre graduates, so I look forward to seeing what they come up with next. They’ve certainly announced their presence on the Irish theatre landscape in impressive fashion.