Tracer – New Theatre – Review


Richard has just started a new job, coding in a market research company. He has no long term ambition there, it’s not something he sees himself doing in five years time. He is a documentary film maker who is using it as a stop gap, something to fill time until his next project and to pay a few bills. It is a fairly straight forward place to work, a large company with offices all over the world. Their boss cares more about being one of the lads and Leinster rugby than he does about the actual work. Think David Brent if he had gone to Clongowes and drank at the Waterloo. Richard overhears a conversation between his boss and one of his colleagues. It sparks his investigative instinct, and leads him to chase details of a mysterious project that would be better left alone!

This is a new play by Stewart Roche that deals with office politics, corruption and the choices we make in our daily lives. It is an unusual piece of work in that while it is very funny, it manages to keep up an air of mystery and tension. You are left at the interval wondering what happens on the fourth floor of their office block. It’s a sublet to a patent company, but no one ever enters or leaves. It can only be a front for something secretive and enigmatic.

The set of the play is a typical office, with two desks and a pair of Venetian blinds for the windows behind. It is simple and very effective, and captures the world of so many offices around Dublin.

The cast includes many old hands such as Patrick O’Donnell and Simon Toal and they don’t disappoint. Stepen Kelly is enjoyable as Campbell, an aspiring musician stuck at the desk beside Richard and doing it all for his kids. The introduction of Stewart Roche after the interval works well, he plays a difficult part with considerable style. This is an impressive piece of new writing that deserves to be seen by a wider audience. It is an unusual concept, to have a funny thriller, a play with as many twists as there are gags. It is not without its flaws but as a rough diamond it is very enjoyable, get along to it if you can.

Tracer – PurpleHeart Theatre Company in association with the New Theatre

Theatre – 25 Aug – 6 Sep at The New Theatre
Cast includes Michael Bates, Stephen Kelly, Patrick O’ Donnell, Clara Purcell, Stewart Roche, Simon Toal and Ranae Von Meding.

Written by Stewart Roche

Directed by Jeda De Bri

Produced by Anthony Fox

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