Pleasure Ground -Smock Alley – Review
Mon 7th – Thu 10th December in The Boys’ School at 8pm
David was a young man with the world at his feet. He was bright, a good athlete and had a beautiful girlfriend. Why he decided to kill himself is something of a mystery and the subject that has this small town talking. We get to see the world through four sets of eyes. Brendan never knew David, but feels a certain kinship with him. He is a farmer who has experienced a lot of loss during his life. Aisling is David’s ex-girlfriend, who moved to London to pursue a career in acting. Linsey is a girl who figured she deserved more than working behind the deli counter in Londis. Evan is a childhood friend of David, who still remembers their times together during the long summer months and wonders where they drifted apart.
The first act of the play is a series of monologues, with each of the actors taking centre stage and telling the audience different aspects of their life. It is based around the day of David’s funeral and it has taken its toll on everyone in the church, but has particularly resonated with each of these individuals. After the interval, the four characters meet in the Pleasure ground, the playground in the local park. They discuss their lives and their relationships with David.
The stage is made to look like a playground, with swings, a climbing frame and a long bench. This bench is also used as the pew for the church, and the climbing frame doubles as a pulpit. They are simple features but set the location nicely.
Despite the subject matter of the suicide of a young man, this is a very funny play and has some hilarious moments. It is very much modern Ireland, with long discussions on the merits of Aldi and what it has brought to the community! The series of monologues at the start of this play are riveting and really get to grips with the four characters. After the interval, the second act doesn’t have the same tension but is still very enjoyable. This is another impressive production from Fregoli who are certainly a name to look out for. An original and sharp piece of writing, with some great performances at the core, it comes strongly recommended.
Duration: 2 hours including the interval.
Find out more about Fregoli Theatre here.
Directed by Maria Tivnan.
Written by Jarlath Tivnan.
Performed by Kate Murray, Peter Shine, Eilish McCarthy and Jarlath Tivnan.