George Bush and Children – Project Arts Centre – Tiger Dublin Fringe Review


George Bush and Children Co-presented by Dick Walsh Theatre and Pan Pan

Previews Sep 10 – 11 @ 21:15 – Tickets €11
Dates Sep 12 – 17 @ 21:15 – Tickets €15 / €13 conc.
Duration 65 mins
Venue: Project Arts Centre Cube

This is a new work written by Dick Walsh, or more accurately edited by him. None of the text spoken has come directly from Walsh, instead it is pieced together from the world of talk shows. The programme describes it as “transcriptions of spontaneous dialogue from topical talk show clips”. The topics up for discussion flow from one to the next with most of the typical issues of our day covered. We get to hear about trivial matters such as clothes, with Spanx and Speedos being mentioned, and the merits of each. We hear stories about abortion, gay marriage, faecal matter, torture and loss, and many places in between. Sex is used repeatedly, with discussion on thrift store vibrators and other such novelties.

The back wall of the stage is filled with large mirrors which reflect the audience, making us part of the event. The actors have been deliberately chosen for their physical differences, making their appearance all the more bizarre on stage together. The fourth wall takes a battering as the actors stare out into the audience with dead eyes. They move in deliberate and considered fashion, repeating sequences before breaking the pattern. Sometimes the music swells and the lighting changes to add a touch of drama, before it returns once more to the simple patterns of talk show banter.

The focus of the work is clearly on the words. It shows how easily complex issues are reduced, how simplified the arguments can become. The topics that are covered are wide ranging and allow the audience to see a broad spectrum. Some subjects are clearly more successful than others, and drag the audience in, while others seem obtuse or bizarre. There is no attempt to filter the ideas for the audience and both sides of the argument are strongly stated. It’s an unusual work that captures a slice of modern society at its best and worst.

Cast – Oddie Braddell, Shane Connolly, Fionnuala Flaherty and Gráinne Hallahan


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