Couples + Pairs /2/– Theatre Upstairs – Review by Frank L.
Written by Niamh Denyer, Ann Blake, Sean Denyer, Aoife Maguire and Michael Kunze
Feb 3rd to 18th, 2017
The “2” in the title refers to the second time that Blue Heart Theatre has produced a clutch of brief new plays centred around the word “love” in its widest connotation. Like last year, this production coincides with Valentine’s Day. Each of the five pieces are about fifteen minutes or less in length and apart from the last one, all are two handers. There are rapid changes of scene between each mini play during which Maire Carr sings with confidence accompanying herself on the guitar. These scene changes are carried out efficiently and effectively.
The subject matter of the five mini plays include: the office of a wacky dating agency, the morning after a night out, an Elvis impersonator and “his” Priscilla, the brand new parents trying to negotiate love making and a medico having an encounter with a “living” corpse. It is an eclectic mix.
As the five plays are by different authors there is inevitably a substantial variety in the thrust of the scripts. Mike Kunze, Brian Higgins, Niamh Denyer, Fiona Lucia McGarry and Colm Horan are the five actors who in various combinations play the parts in each play. As a matter of personal preference, the wacky dating agency appealed most but it is easy to see how other pieces could appeal to different audience members. Of the actors Niamh Denyer brought the greatest presence to the interpretation of her various roles.
Certainly given the saccharine red hearts now festooning the shops with the imminent approach of Valentine’s day, these five little plays cast a different light on that complex word “love”. That difference is to be welcomed.
Ann Blake, Sean Denyer, Niamh Denyer, Michael Kunze and Aoife Maguire / WRITERS
Joe Flavin / DIRECTOR
Niamh Denyer, Brian Higgins, Michael Kunze, Roseanne Lynch and Fiona Lucia McGarry / CAST
Máire Carr / MUSIC DESIGN & PERFORMANCE
Sinead Cormack / SET DESIGN
Colm Horan / LIGHTING DESIGN
Niamh Denyer / COSTUME DESIGN
Sean Denyer / PRODUCER