Kiss Of The Chicken King – Project Arts Centre – Review


Kiss of the Chicken King runs at the Project Arts Centre from the 26th of April 2014 until the 3rd of May 2014 @ 8.00pm

Kiss of the Chicken King is a series of short pieces of stand up comedy/ bizarre philosophy combined with a number of songs, that are all the work of a very strange man. Oscar McLennan is the Chicken King, and this is his story.

The monologues form the majority of the work, and are a series of discussions and battles of the mind with a fly that is his only company in his living room. The work also dismantles the pieces of speech that you rarely think about. Focusing on phrases, clichés and colloquialisms and seeing what truth lies behind the wives tales and mixed metaphors that we blurt out in every day speech. Some of the things he comes up with are hilarious and others only mildly amusing, but it’s hard to swim against the torrent of words he unleashes on the unsuspecting audience.

The stage is straight forward with a sofa and lamp on one side to form the living room where Oscar starts his musings, and a simple musical set up on the other with microphones and instruments. There are lighting effects used at various times, including strobe light for one of the titanic battles between man and fly!

Kevin McAleer created the short pieces of film that are projected during the songs and at other times. Some of these are unspectacular images of people dancing, while others are impressive and startling images that catch the eye. Olwen Fouéré also has a short cameo piece by video, as she interacts with Oscar, in a couple of short, sharp discussions.

Martin Tourish plays the accordion and backing singer Erica Peroni emerges onto the stage for the majority of the tracks. Oscar takes lead vocals on all the songs, and plays guitar on several. The songs are an interesting blend of folk music, with Oscars’ unusual lyrics and they are enjoyable breaks from the monologues and serve to break up the flow.

Initially I struggled with the text, but as the night wore on, it won me over. There are some very funny sequences towards the end of the night, and a huge amount of thought went into the various monologues. The music is bright and lively, and the accordion playing of Tourish is impressive. It’s an interesting night of music and theatre that is nicely cracked and is one of the more unusual works I’ve seen on stage in Dublin in recent times.

Kiss of the Chicken King runs at the Project Arts Centre from 26 April 2014-03 May 2014 @ 8.00pm

Kiss of the Chicken King

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