Project Pop Up – Project Arts Centre – Review
This was billed as a taster menu for Irish Theatre. A flavour of what you can expect to see in the Project Arts Centre over the course of the next year. It was a collection of four twenty minute pieces with a live musical performance in the bar to follow. The night was curated by Nyree Yergainharsian and Shaun Dunne who also hosted the evening, introducing the various acts. The most unusual thing about the night was that there was a short interview with some of the creators after the performance giving you an insight into their work.
The first production of the evening was something that appeared in Theatre Upstairs in August of this year in the form of ‘Say Nothin’ To No One’. This was possibly the only piece we didn’t review in Theatre Upstairs this year for the simple reason we didn’t even get a press release from them! While they may need to work on their PR skills, they have everything else sorted. The production was about a young shoplifter in Dublin but was presented in a street-smart, sassy style that made it interesting. It had some fabulous lines like ‘To look like Kanye, we had to steal like Winona’ which instantly gave them a place in our hearts! This is the first part of a trilogy so keep your eyes peeled for the other parts.
The second act of the evening was a section from ‘Everything Not Saved’ by Malaprop Theatre. The name was actually taken from an unintentionally profound loading screen for a Nintendo game, telling you that ‘Everything not saved will be lost’. It was originally part of the Dublin Fringe Festival this year and we reviewed it here.
Photo by Emma O’Kane can be found here.
After a short interval there were two more pieces. One was a video piece called Medicated Milk which was by Áine Stapleton, José Miguel Jiménez and Neil O’Connor. This was part of the Fringe Festival in 2015 and is about the life of Lucia Joyce. The final piece of the evening was a work in progress production of Bone Records by Emma O’Kane, who is well known from her work with CoisCeim and Willfredd theatre (including Farm and Jockey).
After a short interview with the the creators of the final two performances, Ger Kelly performed a number of songs in the bar. Ger is a regular on stage and is one of those artists who could just as easily appear in a music venue as a theatre.
The night was an interesting mix. For those who regularly visit the theatre, they may have been aware of some of these productions, but there’s always the one that got away. For those that are new to the world of theatre, it was a good glimpse of what the Project Arts Centre is all about. I think there should have been a more whole hearted attempt to get new faces into the theatre with a comedy or music act to draw in the punters. The real stars of the evening, however, were the Breadline Collective and their production of ‘Say Nothin’ to No One’, which was a shock to the system in a good way! As writer Thommas Kane Byrne said in the post show discussion ‘There’s a story in every flat’. If they’re all as good as this, we look forward to hearing them!