Festivals

Animus – Lir – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review

Animus Fringe Festival

Two sisters, Anna and Rose Bettle, live together and share a shocking past that is clouded in mystery. They are tainted by their history and border on unhinged, with the doll of the younger sister taking the brunt of the violence in the early sequences of the play. As the story is slowly revealed to the audience, the secret of their youth becomes clear, and the possibility of revenge presents itself.

This is a complex and nicely unnerving piece, that will keep you on your toes until the dramatic ending. When I first entered the theatre, I was happy to see a five musicians tuning up in the corner of the room. The choice of instruments is somewhat unusual, with alto, soprano, tenor and baritone saxophone and a single cello player. This wall of saxophones is used to create the soundtrack for this dark and horrific tale. Denis Clohessy wrote the score, and some of you may know his work from Rough Magic’s Sodome My Love (2010). There is also inventive use of video, as scenes and images from police reports and interviews are projected onto the small screen above the stage, and include further clues to the mystery.

I must admit that during the early part of this play, I was quite lost. The narrative style is oblique, and we are not even properly introduced to the characters. This seems to have been a conscious decision by the story tellers, to keep the audience in the dark for most of the production. Slowly, the pieces of the puzzle are revealed and by the end you have a clear understanding of what happened in the past and the consequences it has on present day. The story won me over as it developed, and the ending is unexpected and shocking. The five musicians add to the atmosphere of the  dark tale of vengeance, and make it a memorable night at the theatre.

Animus is on at Lir, as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival until Saturday, the 21st of Sept.

CAST: Jim Roche, Camille Lucy Ross & Anna Shiels-McNamee

LIVE MUSIC PERFORMED BY: The Quintessential Saxophone Quartet and Cellist Kim Porcelli

CREATED BY: Noelia Ruiz and Denis Clohessy AND DEVISED BY: The Company

DIRECTED BY: Noelia Ruiz

ORIGINAL SCORE & SOUND DESIGN: Denis Clohessy

SET DESIGNER: Aedín Cosgrove

COSTUME DESIGNER: Donncha O’ Dea

LIGHTING DESIGNER: Kevin Smith

VIDEO DESIGNER: Jack Phelan

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Kerrie O’Reilly

NARRATIVE ADVISOR: Jody O’ Neill

FORENSICS ADVISOR: Mark Collender

PRODUCER: Andy Cummins

Categories: Festivals, Music, Theatre

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