Panned – Theatre Upstairs – Review

Panned theatre upstairs

Panned runs until July 25th at Theatre Upstairs.

Sean is going through a rough patch. He’s 26 and still working in a call centre despite his various qualifications. All his friends seem to have found a proper job by this stage but he is still at a loose end. He’s struggling to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. His girlfriend Rachel wants to go to a fancy dress party which is for one of her friends who is emigrating. She has made a costume for each of them. She is Tinkerbell and he is Peter Pan, complete with green leggings and hat. He protests about the costume but loses the argument. He faces into a night of abuse from his friends, something he is not able for in his current delicate state of mind. Something has to give!

The stage has been transformed into a small raft which is sitting in a pool of water. As you enter the theatre, the actor is already on stage, dressed as Peter Pan and stuck on the raft at sea. Panned is a one man show starring Ste Murray. He plays a wide variety of characters in this one hour show. It is about a group of friends meeting up on a typical Saturday night on the town with the activities all seen through Sean’s eyes. Murray changes character quickly between men and women and also gives us an insight into the thoughts inside Sean’s head. It can be difficult to follow the quick changes and the audience has to stay on their toes to keep up with the story. The pace of the play is frenetic as it builds towards the ending, Sean struggles to keep himself from going over the edge. The play may have been helped by adding some variation to the speed of delivery, but the aim was to create the anxious and emotional state of mind as it builds to the finale.

The use of the character Peter Pan, the boy who could never grow up has an obvious comparison with Sean, the young man trying to find his place in the adult world. The play has a serious subject matter in mental health, but there are some very funny lines and writer Caitriona Daly has created an interesting new work. The task of playing such a wide spectrum of characters and all at a frantic pace is Herculean, but Ste Murray does an impressive job.

Creative Team –

Caitríona Daly / WRITER

Eoghan Carrick / DIRECTOR

Caitriona Ennis / DRAMATURG & PRODUCER

Laura Honan / SET DESIGN

Eoghan Carrick / LIGHTING DESIGN

Dylan Jones / SOUND DESIGN

Naoimi Faughan / COSTUME DESIGN



Panned runs until July 25th at Theatre Upstairs.



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