Confusion Boats – First Fortnight Festival – New Theatre – Review

Confusion Boats

Confusion Boats is a piece of theatre that explores what it means to be a man! It deals with manly pursuits such as fighting and boxing, but don’t worry, it’s not all tough guy stuff.

It is largely a one man show, with Ger Kelly the main actor and writer of the piece, but Eva Jane Gaffney makes a number of short appearances, and is involved in the pivotal final sequence of the play. The show changes in style frequently through out the course of its hour long duration. There are multimedia pieces, with exerts from movies (largely fight sequences),  moments of stand up comedy with the actor talking directly to the audience, there’s a musical number with Ger on guitar, a short piece of poetry, a computer game, and even some ironing!

The set is simple, with an arm-chair, standard lamp and TV. The arm-chair faces the audience and the actor frequently faces out talking directly to the crowd. The house lights come up to allow the audience to feel engaged with the proceedings.

The play spends a long time ploughing through the main actors childhood and how his perceptions of the world evolved. We see how the men in his life acted, and how this affected him. There are frequent references to pop culture at the time of his childhood, with the Karate Kid, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Street Fighter all getting a mention, along with many, many films.

The play never stays in the one place for too long, and does not allow the audience to get bored. There are a number of humorous moments, and Kelly’s dead pan delivery of jokes works well. It’s an interesting piece that deals with a difficult topic with humor and a degree of insight. While no clear answers are delivered at the end, we were unlikely to get such revelations.  What we do get is a well crafted play that shows the wide range of abilities of Kelly and his cohorts.

Written by Gerard Kelly

Directed by Grace Dyas

Confusion Boats runs at the New Theatre, Dublin, until January 11th.

Check out the fantastic trailer below…

Categories: Theatre, Theatre Review

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