Whether you’re a city slicker or a long way from home dreaming of green fields and open spaces, there’s something for everyone in Wilfredd’s production of Farm. This show was one of the hits of last year’s Fringe Festival and has returned for one week only at Lir – National Academy of Dramatic Art on Pearse Street.
Farm is a collection of images or aspects of country life, all drawn together to create a unique insight into life in the farming community in Ireland. The scenes vary from how to remove a harness from a horse, allotment farming, land auctioneers to bee keeping, but mostly it’s about the people who live on farms and their lives. You even get to meet a Workhorse along the way (one workhorse to another!) with one of the cast members listed below (Ralph) having four legs, not two. The horse is not the only animal you’ll meet, with some real animals making an appearance and at other times actors take on the role.
There are a number of well choreographed dance sequences along the way, some wildly happy and others exploring loneliness and solitude in an unconventional manner. The soundtrack to the piece is simple guitar lines performed by Jack Cawley, which are quite beautiful and waft around this large open space. The audience are herded from scene to scene, and moved around the space of the main theatre in Lir, which has been transformed for this performance. They have used every available space, and you get to visit backstage along with the main auditorium and there’s even a scene in the foyer.
This is an innovative and interesting show, that is performed with a lot of heart. Looking around the faces of the audience during the final scenes, you realise that they were all smiling, without exception. There is something very moving about this warm and caring portrayal of farm living, and it comes heavily recommended.
Farm is on at 6 and 8 PM nightly until Saturday the 13th of July. Despite the promised sun, this should not be missed. Tickets are available here.
Performers: Jack Cawley, Paul Curley, Ralph Kelly, Emma O’Kane, Shane O’Reilly and Marie Ruane.
Artistic Director: Sophie Motley
Artistic Director: Sarah Jane Shiels
Sound Design and Composition: Jack Cawley
Choreographer: Emma O’Kane
Producer: Kate Costello
Executive Producer: Jen Coppinger