Revolver – Theatre Upstairs – Review by Frank L.
Sugar Coat Theatre – REVOLVER – May 20th 2016 – June 4th 2016
Written by Seanan McDonnell
The programme notes state as a guide to the play “An imperfect couple’s search for the perfect date”. It begins with Charlene Craig and Colm O’Brien yelling over each other, not listening nor even trying to listen to each other. They reach a crescendo of misunderstanding. There is a sci-fi element to the piece as they have a time machine which enables them to try again and again to navigate that awkward first date. There are always difficulties and misunderstandings. For example the elocution expression “how now brown cow?” which is used often at one stage is taken to be racist and misogynistic which in a hypersensitive world is a possible construction. But it highlights the ability of a couple to misunderstand each other when they have a determination to do so. The text is clever if a little too cerebral at times but the actors keep up the momentum. Some of their stories are told more than once but there are variations. However the awkwardness and imperfections in their various relationships are the constant. They are at times explained but are never resolved.
The set consists of two plastic translucent chairs, a table on which sits a sort of time machine gadget which enables them to meet continuously for the first time and a little fake neon sign stating everlast.com in script. The floor is made of an elaborate plastic pattern. It all makes for an environment that is uncertain.
It is a complex play. McDonnell states at the end of his Writer’s Note “and sometimes that’s the choice, between the story and the truth and I hope this play bats for the latter”. He gives no explanation as to why the latter is his preference. A second viewing is probably necessary to know whether he has succeeded and maybe also to understand why that is his preference.
Cast / Creative Team
AODH / Charlene Craig
BEA / Colm O’Brien
WRITER / Seanan McDonnell
DIRECTOR / Matthew Ralli
SET + COSTUME DESIGN / Dylan O’Farrell
LIGHTING DESIGN / Teresa Nagel
SOUND DESIGN / Richard Durning