Adventures In Failure – Smock Alley – Review

Adventures in Failure

Adventures In Failure – Review by Frances Winston

I’ve never worked in a shop but a straw poll of a few of my friends who have reveals that they did on occasion mess about in the storeroom. This makes the premise of this show all the more intriguing as three undervalued employees of a lighting store retreat to the sanctity of the aforementioned storeroom. However with three very different personalities in the mix there are clashes and disagreements in between the fun and the frivolity.

This is a movement show that utilises the performers’ physicality to its fullest. All three actresses – Isabel Macedo, Fiona Lucia McGarry and Rachel Mungra – fully commit to their parts and engage with each other and the audience to tell the tale. There is plenty of slapstick that owes it’s genesis to British music hall and early movie stars such as Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. There are also numerous classic sight gags that never get old no matter how often you see them. The whole thing is accompanied by a snappy soundtrack that wouldn’t actually be out of place in a silent film. The girls use minimal props other than the lamps in the storeroom, which also are cleverly used to provide the only lighting for the show. When the actors finally get to use their voices performing singing exercises led by Mungra it leads to one of the most engaging moments in the show.

The story progression is very clear at all times and the abstract costumes and lack of language erase any perception of exactly when or where this is set. The intimate setting of the Boy’s School means that the audience almost feel like voyeurs. This adds to the charm of the show as it is as if we are getting a sneaky look inside their world but also made me wonder if this would work in a larger venue as you would lose that. Also, each actor has a hugely expressive face and some of their storytelling may get lost if there was more distance between them and the audience.

Movement shows aren’t to everyone’s taste but this has so much going on you quickly forget there is no dialogue and even if they aren’t your thing you should enjoy this. This fully engages the audience although at times I was confused if they wanted us to actively participate or just observe their antics. It is the kind of show that demands full attention as there are always several things happening at once. It is high energy from the very opening and it never wanes. Charming and funny this will definitely leave you with a smile on your face.

Adventures in Failure runs in Smock Alley Theatre until 29th

Dates: March 24th -29th 2014. Nightly at 8pm and matinee at 1pm on March 26th.

Tickets – €12/10

Venue: Boy’s School, Smock Alley Theatre, Exchange Street Lower, Temple Bar, Dublin 8.


Directed by : Jessi Carri
Produced by : Gráinne Lynch
Lighting & Set Design by : Aaron Kelly
Costume by : Steph Blythman

Cast : Isabel Macedo, Fiona Lucia McGarry, Rachel Mungra

Adventures in Failure



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