A Picture of Us: A (sort of) Musical – Review by Frank L.
The “Theatre Upstairs” has undergone a major reconfiguration of its space and the “new” auditorium is a vast improvement on its predecessor. Its first production is a two-hander written and performed by Laurence Falconer and Kate Gilmore.
The set consists of two guitars and various percussion instruments, some of which you can sit upon. The back wall of the set is a large calender in rectangular shape. Some of calender’s squares are filled in describing what is due to take place on a particular date. There is a sign hanging over the calendar stating the month which the actors change to identify the passage of time. As the lights go up the actors assemble the drums and guitars as if they had just obtained possession of a new apartment and are making it into their new little nest. They are, however, on the verge of a row caused by one long-legged Josie who works with Lennon (Laurence Falconer) and with whom he has certainly held hands and if Nora (Kate Gilmore) has been told the truth by “a friend” may have even kissed.
The row takes the form of a duet with Lennon on guitar and Nora sitting on a wooden box. As the argument increases Nora’s rhythmic beats on the fine-sounding wooden box become more assertive. It sets the tone for the piece and the guitar, the lyrics and the percussion lift the row out of the kitchen sink into something more engaging. There are several fine touches particularly when the word “specific” is mangled by Nora and several attempts with various mispronunciations are made before it is spoken correctly. Similarly when Lennon is trying, on the guitar, to explain himself Nora mouths silently her counter arguments with various beats underlining her frustration, anger and disagreement. Her clearly-defined movements of the mouth together with the percussion enable you to know precisely what is running through her mind even if she does not make a sound with her mouth. Falconer and Gilmore collaborate well which ensures the row, at all times, has a balance to it and the entire piece is a wry look at a relationship which is in the process of disintegration.
A Picture of Us runs at Theatre Upstairs – July 15th – 26th
Laurence Falconer as LENNON
Kate Gilmore as NORA
Director / Amilia Stewart
Set Design / Aoife Fealy
Lighting Design / Eoin Stapleton
Graphic Design / Ste Murray
DATES: Tuesday, July 15th – Saturday, July 26th
Tuesday – Saturday
(July 15th – 19th / July 22nd – 26th)
Thursday – Saturday
(July 17th – 19th / July 24th – 26th)
Tickets: €10 / €8 (student concession)
Includes light lunch at 1PM performances.