Festivals

LOVE+ – Project Arts Centre – Review – Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival

event-love+

LOVE+ – Claire O’Reilly

Review by Emily Elphinstone

Dates Sep 15 – 17 @ 19:15.
Tickets €15 / €13 conc.
Duration 50 mins.
Venue: Project Arts Centre Cube

How perfect do you really want your partner to be? That’s what Claire O’Reilly’s LOVE+ explores: a very modern love story between a woman (Maeve O’Mahony) and her ultra-realistic robot (Breffni Holahan). It may be nice to have someone on hand to clean for you, kiss you, and fulfil your every need without any need for thanks (you can even slap her if you really want); but when this is all done because of programming rather than free will, it’s hard to maintain the fantasy.

This relationship between a women and her robot could have been all space suits and monotone voices, but O’Reilly’s play treats the subject with a light touch. The set is wonderfully clean and functional without seeming cold (Ikea would be proud), though unfortunately there were moments when the overhead lamps left shadows across the performer’s faces, and obstructed the view of the screen for parts of the audience.

Luckily, the characters are genuinely likeable, and as the whole show doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s easy to root for it despite certain flaws.

There are wonderfully playful moments including disco balls, ABBA, and online chat rooms, bringing the audience further into the characters lives and making them more likeable. Indeed, much of the play’s success lies in the underplayed chemistry between the characters. O’Mahony is brilliantly sympathetic, and works as a bridge between her world and the audience with her feelings of gratitude, guilt, and possibly a little discomfort while getting used to her ‘home help’. Holahan manages to find the balance between robot and ‘realistic android’, with her innocent enthusiasm and efficiency the only giveaway of her inner workings, used in conjunction with the brilliantly written script.

Overall, LOVE+ gives a fantastically entertaining insight into what we do, and what we want to ignore, in the name of love.

LOVE+ – Claire O’Reilly

Dates Sep 15 – 17 @ 19:15.
Tickets €15 / €13 conc.
Duration 50 mins.
Venue: Project Arts Centre Cube

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