Theatre Upstairs – The Bell Of – Review
Dates – 10 November 2015 – 21 November 2015
7.00PM / Tuesday – Saturday
1.00PM (matinee) / Wednesday + Saturday
This is a new work by Barry McEvoy, the Irish writer and actor probably best known for writing and starring in the Barry Levinson film ‘An Everlasting Piece’ in 2000. This is a new work set in middle America, in one of those backwaters where anything can happen and probably does. Lee-Ann works with the blind. We get to meet two of the people she works with. Ida is a twisted young girl with a wild imagination and a rather unusual view of the world dominated by her fear of a vengeful God. Arthur is a man in the later stages of life who is troubled by his past. Floyd is the wild card of the piece, a man with unclear motives who sees those around him as little more than toys.
The set features a number of old televisions built into the wall. These televisions often show images that relate to the plot as it develops on stage. Images of giant eye balls, games of pong and a variety of other ideas fill the stage. It works well and is quite elaborate for the small stage.
There are four cast members and each character is well drawn out and quirky in their own way, even if their motivation is left somewhat unclear. All four actors do an admirable job and it is an impressive production. Aislinn O’Byrne pumps great life into the part of Ida, the bizarre young girl and the scenes where her imagination is free wheeling are among the best. The script moves at quite a clip and the audience have to work to keep up with the story. The relationships between the characters are left deliberately unclear which makes the work quite demanding. Nothing is spelled out for the viewer. It is an interesting and sometimes troubling dark comedy that will last with you long after you’ve left the theatre.
Jed Murray / FLOYD
Sarah Morris / LEE-ANN
Aislinn O’Byrne / IDA
Liam Burke / ARTHUR
Barry McEvoy / WRITER
Louisa Sanfey / DIRECTOR
Naomi Faughnan / SET & COSTUME DESIGN
Hanna M. Bowe / LIGHTING DESIGN
John Gunning / SOUND DESIGN
Andy Carberry / PRODUCER