Rising: Dublin Youth Theatre – Peacock stage at the Abbey Theatre – Review
From Wednesday, 17 August 2016
To Saturday, 20 August 2016
Running time: 75 Minutes (No Interval)
A little over a hundred years ago, a group of young men and women did something remarkable that started the birth of a new country. This new production by Dublin Youth Theatre is inspired by those events and aims to see what affects the youth of today. The ideas discussed are those you would commonly hear on late night radio and TV shows. The issues are those that fill the opinion pages of newspapers. These are the concepts that get people animated. What they are passionate about and what could spark the need to protest. It asks the question what could cause a Rising in Ireland today.
There are twenty cast members and all are on stage for the full duration of the performance. The opening scene has each member come to the front of the stage and take the microphone to tell the audience what they believe in. Some talk of Love and God, while others talk of human rights and living conditions. This works as an introduction for the wide range of topics that are covered through the piece, with subjects such as water charges, abortion, the 8th amendment, animal rights, Feminism, Gay equality and discrimination being discussed. It is a free wheeling structure, that involves music, spoken word, dance and mime. There is no strict narrative to the piece, it moves from topic to topic as they become exhausted, giving the audience an overview of the many flaws of modern Irish society.
The production is set to a rock and roll soundtrack with a near constant accompaniment of guitar, bass and drums, with occasional flute and violin. They work through a number of protest songs, such as Fight The Power by Public Enemy, Rebel Girl by Bikini kill, Redemption Song by Bob Marley and Rise by Public Image Limited with the much loved chorus of ‘Anger is an Energy’. These are not three minute pop versions of the songs. They take the form of long, rambling versions with spoken word sections by the cast. They occasionally burst into life, shouting or singing the chorus as the music swells.
The ideas and words spoken are not taken directly from those on stage. This works well to give both sides of the argument, especially with difficult issues such as abortion. It never serves as a polemic, but rather aims to give a variety of opinions and ideas. The play is well executed and the young cast all show impressive energy and passion. It’s a production that aims to get the audience thinking. It shows that the youth of today are not purely apathetic and apolitical as is often suggested. They have their causes and passions the same as any other, and they’re willing to make a stand!
Ella Daly – General Manager
Aidan Crowe – Production Manager
Ste Murray – Photography and Graphics
Rosa Bowden – Assistant Producer
Diego Fasciati – Producer
Mark Ball – Assistant Director
David Olivarez – Dramaturg
Jack Cawley – Music and Sound Designer
Deirdre Dwyer – Costume Designer
Sarah Jane Shiels – Set and Lighting Designer
Helena Enright – Created by
Tom Creed – Directed by/Created by