Radio Rosario – axis:Ballymun – DTF – Review
“If love is losing, what are you going to do? Start hating just so you can be on the winning side?”
This is the tale of an unusual man in Galway city. His name is Valve Hegarty and he makes his living doing voice overs for radio advertisements. This is what pays the bills but what he really loves to do is sing! He has a regular gig at a local hipster bar on a Saturday afternoon. A chance encounter with a man at a car boot sale leads him to travel to Clifden and then on to the mysterious site of the Marconi station. This is where he encounters Rosario.
Little John Nee is the solo performer on stage for the duration. He created this work in collaboration with Laura Sheeran. The stage is filled with objects such as ropes, steps, chairs and at the very front of the stage, an old bakelite radio. There is a backdrop of metal panelling and high above the stage hangs a screen, which is used for projected images, mostly of landscapes and clouds, which set the tone for the scenes. The lighting design by Sarah Jane Shiels is also worthy of a mention, as it helps create the other worldly mood of the piece, capturing the supernatural aspects.
While music is key to the performance, there are only a small number of songs. The majority of the time is spent exploring his unusual world. There is no strong narrative, instead we get a series of vignettes as Valve meets a number of surprising characters along the way. There are also dream like sequences, where we hear the young, ghostly girl named Rosario.
John Nee is a relaxed performer and seems in control throughout. The musical sequences work well and break up the various short scenes. The songs are slow and eerie, delivered with a mix of recorded musical arrangements (which can be heard here). The show focuses on the quieter moments in life, scenes of introspection or reflection, with a positive message at its core. It will sit well with fans of his music and his quirky style of story telling. It is small in scope but warm at its heart.
Find out more about Little John Nee on here.
Cast and Creative Team
Co-Directed by Little John Nee and Laura Sheeran
Consultant Director: Raymond Keane
Performed by Little John Nee
Set and Costume Design: Triona Lillis
Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Shiels
Music and Sound Design: Tommy McLaughlin and Little John Nee
Video art created by Laura Sheeran