60 minutes in Dublin Vol. ll at The New Theatre Temple Bar
Maylin Productions is an interesting and enterprising young theatre company and this, its second “60 minutes in Dublin” show, is a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging evening’s theatre. Nine writers, six directors and six actors present a series of mini-plays, each set in Dublin and offering us a brief glimpse of the lives of young people and their relationships.
With such a range of young writers, inevitably the writing is uneven in places and slight allowance must be made for the fact that the plays were rehearsed and produced in two weeks from completion of the scripts. However, the evening’s many strengths outweigh any weaknesses.
The plays are at their most successful and convincing when they adjust the scale of their dramatic ambition to the time allocated – a total of one hour. It is as if some of the writers don’t quite trust the power of the simple story, well told. The device of flashing blue lights and the voice of a Garda delivering dreadful news takes from rather than enhances the ending of one play. In another piece, a convincing encounter between two young men at a ten-years-on school reunion has a similarly melodramatic ending that falls out of the sky. Both these pieces worked very well but were badly served by a forced dramatic ending.
Aidan Fitzmaurice’s “There’s never anything good on” (yes, the TV) deals with the banality that has crept into many lives and relationships and several other issues. The structure is tight, there is fun and seriousness and the play works without as much as reported death.
Emma Creedon’s Aphrodite strongly echoes Molly Bloom’s soliloquy, with Aoibheann McCaul’s stage presence as impressive, as in several other roles. Among others to impress are a highly versatile Rua O’Donnachu and Ruairi Heading, an actor of considerable subtlety who trusts the quiet gesture and the power of unforced vocals.
Maylin’s Productions is a welcome innovation, showing once again what can be achieved even on minimal budgets by imaginative and ambitious young theatre makers. Their enterprise deserves the support not just of the theatre going public in search of a good evening’s theatre but of our public arts funding organisations.
The show continues until May 30th.