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The Last Post – The Mart Gallery – Review

The Last Post

The Last Post created by JTL Theatre, developed at Fringe Lab with the support of Tiger Dublin Fringe.

The Last Post was part of Tiger Dublin Fringe 2014 and deservedly returns to be seen by further audiences. It takes place in the former Fire Station in the centre of Rathmines. This delightfully quirky edifice is used to provide a series of different locations as the fast moving show allows the audience to see the inner workings of the Post Office often when things go wrong… the fate of letters which are addressed improperly or not at all and have to go to a centre to be further examined.

The performance begins outside the old Fire Station on Lower Rathmines Road when a small, rapid talking postman with a uniform of the postman of a bygone era (the fifties/sixties?), mingles without warning amongst the waiting audience and begins to speak. It is quick fire and full of chat. It is captivating. We soon learn to our surprise that we are now all recruits to be trained in the intricacies of becoming post men and women. We are all required to sign in as post men and women as they bear significant obligations in relation to the post which they handle and then our training begins by being shown how the undeliverable letters are sorted… a delightful chaos.

There is a trip outside to learn about going on a postal route as two postmen and one postwoman chat on their bikes, while they describe events that happen on their individual routes, back inside (by a different door do remember to inspect the splendid enormous three urinals of the old fire station which stand proudly redundant in situ) there is a quiet time when there is a mass of post office memorabilia affixed to the walls to be inspected while over a public address system reminisces from residents of the locality are relayed about post boxes, postmen and little anecdotes about the post office… a delightful interlude, then descending into the bowels of the building the audience is able to listen in on a chat with a lonely old inhabitant whose only contact with the rest of the world is the daily visit of her postman, and so the tour of the world of the post office continues.

It all generates a warm glow and is fun and kept alive by the four principal actors. However the performance of John Doran has to be singled out as it is full of energy and charm; he has an innate ability to engage your eye and ear effortlessly… a delight to watch perform.

The Last Post demonstrates just how alive and innovative are our budding, under-resourced theatrical practitioners. With minimal resources they create fantasy and transport their audiences to other places… the very stuff of theatre. An example of how transformative theatre can be. A joy to be experienced.

Venue: The Mart Gallery , Rathmines

Show Times: 20-29h November @ 7:30PM

Ticket Prices: €9-15

Review by Frank L.

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