The Windstealers – Smock Alley – Review – Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival


The Windstealers – Review by C.K. MacNamara

Written by: Jane Madden
Directed by: Anushka Senanayake
Starring: Colin Campbell, Lloyd Cooney, Rory Corcoran, Katie Honan, Alan Mahon, Christiane O’Mahony, Roseanna Purcell.

There is a certain charm to the old joke told so enthusiastically it makes you laugh twice, and at its core this is what The Windstealers excels at.

With a plot spun from the Simpsons ‘Monorail!’ episode glazed into an Irish setting, the play follows the inhabitants of the ‘windiest town in Ireland’ Ballygweeha, a pseudo habitable village at the edge of the world steeped in all the Irish caricatures of a Pat Shortt fever dream. Introduce Luc Torney, native son turned sleazy salesman, returned from the big city with a wind turbine blueprint in one hand, and a fine print riddled contract in the other.

With a half dozen actors stretched into a dozen roles, often switching on the fly, the play lives or dies on its performances – and to the chagrin of the sweat speckled front rows, the cast radiate in the spectrum of absurd characters. Colin Campbell in particular wields a pair of horn rimmed glasses and a heel turn to hold one man conversations at superhuman speeds.

Despite the exuberance of its performances, there is no ignoring this is a style of humour worn into a tired trope, and the familiarity of seeing yet another Father Ted-esque microcosm of Irish life has long outstayed its welcome as a fresh concept. Whilst the old clichés are on full regrettable display, an excellent sound design and sprinkling of new Celtic Tiger inspired caricatures serves to give a new sheen to the usual suspects.

Treading familiar territory, the appeal of The Windstealers lies in its performances; it rushes up to you, script in hand, demanding your attention and throwing its hands up in hyperactive eagerness – a kudos to all good theatre.

The Windstealers by Eccles Theatre Group

Dates Sep 08 – 13.
Other performances Sep 12 @ 15:15.
Tickets €14 / €12 conc.
Duration 70 mins.
Venue: Smock Alley Theatre Black Box

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