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Lockdown – New Theatre – Review

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Lockdown by Gearoid Humphreys
The New Theatre – Jan 11th – Jan 16th @ 7.30pm

An unlikely trio of people arrive on the roof of the GPO to watch planes fly in formation overhead. The aircrafts are part of a dress rehearsal for the commemoration of the Easter 1916 Rising, and the people on the roof top are in charge of organising the celebrations. It’s a difficult task, with so many vested interests and parties wanting to use it for their own political benefit. Clodagh is an Army Captain, Stephanie is a government handler and Harry a PR consultant. Harry has been ordered to deliver a non-political version of the commemoration, a Rising Lite if you will. Clodagh sees it as a commemoration of fallen soldiers like those she saw in the Lebanon. Stephanie seems to have one goal and that’s to use the ceremonies to help the government.

Lockdown returns to the New Theatre after its original run in October of last year. As the play is quite topical, it makes sense to bring it back with the anniversary of the Rising only months away. It is always a danger with a play of this sort that it will date quite quickly, and even topics like the water charge protesters have long since disappeared from the headlines. The Rising commemorations themselves are a fascinating topic and ripe to be explored.

The three actors involved all throw themselves into the parts. Amy O’Dwyer plays the troubled Army Captain, while Barbara Dempsey and Killian Coyle are both slightly greasy realists, as various types of spin doctors. Each has their moments in centre stage and add depth to the various characters.

The set is simple with a tricolour in one corner and some wooden constructs used to form the parapet on the roof of the GPO.  As with many sets used on the smaller stages of Dublin, a bit of imagination is required to fill in the gaps. As there is no clear story arc, the play allows each of the characters to show something of themselves and also to voice their views on Ireland and the state of the nation. At times the play strays off topic and brings in other elements such as Irish peacekeepers in the Lebanon, Water Charges and other issues, which only muddy the water. The three characters have diverse opinions and the complexity of celebrating a failed revolution is a rich enough topic to mine. It will be interesting to see how close to real life this prediction turns out to be.

Cast –
Amy O’Dwyer
Barbara Dempsey
Killian Coyle

Set Design – Orla Reynolds
Lighting Design – Cathy O Carroll
Sound Design – Shane Fitzmaurice
Stage Manager – Cèin Sookram

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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