The Waste Ground Party – Peacock Stage at the Abbey Theatre
Someone has been dumping bin bags in one of the local gardens. You can hardly blame them, with the price of the bin tags, but it is attracting vermin. A bird that looks like it’s closely related to a dinosaur and the rats can’t be far behind. This is the story of two young men, Martin and Gary. They are both down on their luck and at 22 haven’t cut the apron strings of their controlling mothers. One is going to college and the other has an apprenticeship, but it seems both could be at an end. Their mothers Bernie and Tina have bad blood going back many years and Bernie thinks there could only be one person responsible for the dumping.
The set is a simple but very effective. One side of the stage has a washing machine and kitchen table, the other has a lamppost beside which bin bags are thrown by an unseen hand from above the stage. At the back of the set is a brick wall, slightly broken down with various bits of plant life spurting. The two main settings are a kitchen and the street in front of the house and the play switches quickly between the two through clever use of lighting.
This is the second play by Shaun Dunne, this first being Death of the Tradesmen which received huge praise and won the Fishamble New Writing award in the 2012 Fringe. This is his first work at the Abbey and he continues to show huge promise. The dialogue is sharp and snappy, and the characters are well drawn.
The cast are also impressive, with Louise Lewis and Ger Ryan particularly catching the eye. There is a feeling of tension in the piece, that it is bubbling up towards an explosive ending, and that the spats and arguments between the various protagonists will come to a head. The scale of the issues being dealt with are quite small, but behind them there are complex issues and relationships. When the final sequence does arrive, it is left surprisingly open ended with a number of the sub plots dangling, but in truth life is never neatly resolved.
The Waste Ground Party – Peacock Stage at the Abbey Theatre – Until Saturday, 22 November 2014
Showing on the Peacock Stage
Running time: 70 minutes
Lloyd Cooney – Martin
Louise Lewis – Denise
Alan Mahon – Gary
Jasmine Russell – Tina
Ger Ryan – Bernie
Shaun Dunne – Writer
Gerard Stembridge – Director
Niamh Lunny – Set and Costume Design
Eamon Fox – Lighting Designer
Ben Delaney – Sound Designer