War Of Attrition returns to Irish stages with a short run at the Project Arts Centre. It was first performed as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2013 and follows on from Fused and Dublin Oldschool with revivals of popular Fringe shows. This play is the story of Alan, a mild mannered office worker by day and the powerful blogger Generalissimo Malaise by night. Alan claims to target the ‘everyday arseholes’ making videos and putting them online to expose people for what they really are to his thousands of followers. He targets Daisy, a chugger (charity mugger) working on the Dame Street after an altercation during his lunch hour. He makes a video that destroys her life, making her lose her job and most of her friends. She plots revenge but still doesn’t know the identity of Generalissimo Malaise, that’s where Chris comes in, a homeless guy (or between homes at least) who just happens to know the General’s secret identity!
This play has three main protagonists, who all share more or less equal time on stage. It moves along at a good pace and is at times very funny. There is minimal furniture on stage with just a couple of chairs and tables. The lighting plays an important role to create the various settings that include nightclubs, apartments and Garda interrogation rooms! Video is projected onto the back wall of the stage, as the discussion continues on what exactly a psychopath is, and how many of the traits each of us has.
After the recent hostage situation in Australia, there was a complaint about the many people that went to take selfies at the scene of the crimes. The topic of our online persona and how we choose to portray ourselves online is an interesting one and worth discussing. This play delves into that subject matter and deals with trolls, bloggers and other internet users. It is a story that twists and turns as the characters plot against each other. At just under an hour and a half, at times it felt the story had over stayed its welcome and some sections fall a little flat, but the humour keeps the show on the road.
War of Attrition runs at the Project Arts Centre from 15 December 2014-20 December 2014 8.15pm
Written by John Morton
Directed by Niamh Moroney
Cast: John Doran, John Morton and Roseanna Purcell
Lighting by Gerry Taylor
Sound design by Ken McGuire
Set design by Niamh Moyles
Costume by Lucy McKenna
Musical composition by David Sheenan
Stage managed by Aidan Doheny
Produced by Ken McGuire
Graphic design by Paddy Dunne