B(r)itches – Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival – Review by Emily Elphinstone
Following the success of last year’s hit ‘Boys and Girls’, Dylan Coburn Gray returns to the Fringe with a completely different style show: B(r)itches, in collaboration with Leah Minto and Claire Galvin. Marketed as ‘a tour of theatre and its history’, B(r)itches tackles the reams of questions that actors face: Will you hit someone (really hard) if the Director tells you to? How much money would you need to appear in a sexual health advert? What does ‘Brecht’ really involve?
The show is laid out as an exercise: a flipchart sitting proudly centre stage gives the two performers (Galvin and Minto) a task on each page, which they must complete before they can progress to the next. Some of these tasks are brilliantly executed; and the undeniable highlight of the show must be the revelation that it’s possible to say exactly the same thing in every audition, without knowing anything about plot or character. However, many elements appear to exist only for comic effect: The request for ‘Guy talk about the Ladies’ has no clear place, and leads only to deliberately poor impressions of men at the most clichéd level, without explaining its relevance to the show’s subject.
The main shortfall of B(r)itches is this lack of justification for the action: Why are they doing this, and why does it matter … does it matter? It may be designed to be irreverent, but despite the staging which aims to appear improvised, there is always a feel of a script behind the words as everything has been predestined by the flipchart. The stakes never feel high enough to create any real energy and spontaneity, and the end arrives too abruptly for real satisfaction. Though B(r)itches includes some very funny and well-observed moments, it sadly doesn’t live up to its potential.
B(r)itches runs in the Project Arts Centre until the 20th as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe