Tender Napalm in the Project Arts Centre is a Sugarglass production, and their first since Dublin got excited about their production of ‘All Hell Lay Beneath‘ in/outside/ above Cassidy’s pub on Westmoreland street. After the initial reviews/ word of mouth got around about ‘All Hell…’ there was a mild state of panic to get the tickets for the remaining dates. I was one of the lucky ones to see it, so have been looking forward to seeing what they came up with next.
Tender Napalm is a play by Philip Ridley, the English artist, writer and song writer, possibly best known for his screenplay for ‘The Krays’ starring the Kemp brothers. His songs have been recorded by artist such as PJ Harvey and Gavin Friday, and he has written over 12 novels and 18 plays for adults and children.
It’s very hard to describe the plot of this play, as it is constantly moving and fleeting. It’s a two hander with a man and a woman on a desert island, being watched by a large group of monkeys (the audience!). The play is based in a day dream like state, with wild fancy and the ridiculous being accepted and built upon before being thrown away and revised again. Elements of a life close to our own are thrown in on occasion, as if something for us to fix upon, before that rug is pulled out form beneath us. Each character tells a number of stories, which are mostly bizarre and impossible, but always inventive and playful.
The main performances are very impressive with Aaron Heffernan (Picture of Dorian Grey; Abbey Theatre) and Erica Murray developing these complex and intriguing tales. There is obvious chemistry between the two, and they play off each other extremely well.
Tender Napalm runs at the Project Arts Centre until the 8th of December, with tickets from €10.