All A Dream – Chancery Lane – Review

All a dream

All a Dream – runs at Chancery Lane until April 26th @ 6.30. Matinee on April 26th.

As you enter the small space in Chancery Lane, a lonely piano plays in the corner. The stage is at the back of the theatre, with a variety of tables and chairs set out before it. The piano music ends and the lights fade, and Declan McGauran takes to the stage with a wild look in his eyes. The stage is barren other than for a full moon set on the back curtain. Declan shuffles and stumbles around the stage, and delivers the text in a flowing, slightly manic style.

This piece is described as ‘a monologue drawn from the prose of Samuel Beckett’ and inspired by Jack MacGowran’s 1960’s “Beginning to End”. Some of the excerpts are well known, such as the piece from Molloy which teaches you the best way to suck sixteen stones, to ensure you always get a fresh one! One section is about the estranged relationship between the main character and his father and another about a method of communication with his deaf mother, and more than one discussion on the fleeting nature of life.

For a playwright as well-known and loved as Beckett, there is often a feeling that his prose is impenetrable. Work such as this sets out to prove that not to be the case, and that his words for the page carry the same lyricism as those destined for the stage. There have been a number of recent productions created out of Beckett’s prose, such as ‘I’ll go on’ in the Gate theatre starring Barry McGovern. As this work is pieced together from different excerpts, there is no beginning, middle or end, so it is mostly about the beauty of the words themselves. It requires a degree of concentration, and you do have to work to stay focused on what you are hearing, but it is worth the effort. Declan McGauran embraces the darker elements of the character and creates a world-weary vagabond that illuminates the text.

All a Dream – runs at Chancery Lane until April 26th @ 6.30

There is a matinee on Saturday the 26th.

All tickets €10.

Photos from Allen Kiely – Visit his web site here.

All a Dream 2


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