Gladys and the Gutter Stars – Smock Alley – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review by David Minogue
Dates Sep 12-14 @18:45
Tickets €14/ €12 conc.
Duration 60 mins
Other performance Sep 16-17 @ 12:15
Venue: Smock Alley Theatre Boys’ School
The best types of public interviews are sometimes the ones that go horribly, horribly wrong. Such is the case where Shane Daniel Byrne plays the host of a podcast where he interviews two members of the trio Gladys and the Gutter Stars in front of an audience. However, there is no Gladys, just Rachel (Rachel Gleeson) a singer and Cameron (Cameron Macaulay) who plays guitar and sings. Gladys is a mysterious figure who the assembled audience are fascinated with from her first mention. In a space surrounded with music instruments, microphone stands and lots of candles and lamps, the mood is set for Shane to interview the band and discuss their work on their new album. This is an album developed in sunny Brittas bay, the heartland of where all great pioneering music is made.
Early signs of friction make Rachel and Cameron seem like a fabulously odd couple. Shane veers from one gloriously awkward line of questioning to the next. The intimacy of the Boy’s School venue makes sure that everyone in the audience witnesses his every grimace and “What have I said!” moment. There is an easy flow of dialogue between all three that make it seem quite authentic. Initially, Rachel answers most of the questions whether discussing her academic course in Amsterdam or her music influences being songs performed by Christina Aguilera on soundtrack albums. Cameron’s answers are more introspective which are equally as funny. Both Rachel and Cameron answer each question in a matter of fact way or they just plain refuse to discuss the questions that you know Shane has built most of the podcast around. This inevitably results in several great hapless moments.
This is an entertaining and occasionally hilarous show in which any music fan will recognise the kind of music, bands and pop culture shows being satirised. There is a sense of fun throughout with all three performers having memorable comic interactions. There are four songs performed at different points in the show. Following the whole comic nature of the first part you almost expect the songs themselves to be awful but instead you are pleasantly surprised! The songs have titles like Why am I with You? They speak volumes in themselves and allow Shane to delve into another round of brilliant awkwardness.
This is a show that provided much genuine laughter and it gets more surreal as it progresses. It is a show that deserves to do well long after this year’s Fringe festival and will appeal to a braoad range of people.
Cast: Rachel Gleeson, Shane Daniel Byrne & Cameron Macaulay
Created by Cameron Macaulay and Rachel Gleeson
Producer: Grainne Pollack
Associate Designer: Hanna Bowe
Lighting Technician: Ferdia Cahill
Associate Lighting Designer: Cillian McNamara
Sound Design: Kevin Gleeson
Costume Design: Emma Gleeson