Singlehood – Review by Frances Winston
The Olympia theatre, Dame Street, Dublin 2
Runs September 11th -13th at 8pm nightly (doors 7.15pm).
Given that this was one of the huge success stories of last year’s Fringe Festival it is fitting that it makes a return as the festival is in full flight. If you’re wondering what this is about the clue is in the title as seven well known faces take us on a journey through the minefield that is the dating jungle by shining a spotlight on the realities of being single.
This is the brainchild of Una McKevitt who interviewed real life singletons and in collaboration with writer David Coffey brings their stories to the stage with the help of Eric Lalor, PJ Gallagher, Joanne McNally, Aine McKevitt, Rory Murphy, Dee Roycroft and Aiden Strangeman who also contributes several original and hilarious songs to the soundtrack.
This is not a play but rather documentary theatre as the cast take turns telling their stories sometimes in monologue format sometimes interacting with each other. Punctuating the story are some well known songs dealing with all things love related that will have you clapping and singing along. The staging is simple. Just seven plain chairs and Strangeman’s guitar and the emphasis here is very much on the delivery rather than the spectacle. The script is hilarious even managing to generate laughs from the most tragic tale and having performed this so often at this stage the cast’s delivery is flawless and the show still has an amazing energy. The stories are alternately happy, uplifting, heartbreaking, raw, frustrating and everything in between.
In fact this is probably the secret to its success as everybody should be able to relate to several of the tales being recounted. There is something for everyone here as each cast member talks about a different relationship circumstance.
This has a lovely build and definitely leaves you with a smile on your face and plenty of food for thought. On the night I attended the crowd were completely in thrall and laughed boisterously throughout. Single or attached this will give you a whole new outlook on your relationship status and you will be smiling away to yourself for some time afterwards.