The Fattest Dancer at St Bernadette’s – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review

The Fattest Dancer at St Bernadette’s – Dublin Fringe Review

Dates Sep 19-22 @ 19:00 – Tickets €15 / €13 conc.
Other performances Sep 22 @ 16:00 – Duration 60 mins
Venue: The Lir Academy Studio 1

Julian LeBlanc’s School of Dance and Drama is just about to celebrate its tenth anniversary! The young dancers are doing their final rehearsals for the performance which will take place tomorrow. Julian is struggling with his young and fiesty crew of dancers. They’re just not able to perform at the level he once did. Julian is a mysterious man, with more than a touch of glamour. As the young dancers are ushered from the room, Julian tells the audience of his transformation from Jake White, a simple young man from the flats, into the fabulous Julian LeBlanc. He picked his name from a combination of Julian Clary and Matt LeBlanc from Friends! His story is one of many highs and lows…

The Breadline Collective have been making waves in Irish theatre in recent years with their brash and fun productions. 2017’s ‘Say Nothin’ To No One’ and more recently ‘Well That’s What I Heard’ were both performed in Theatre Upstairs and were well received. This new production is mostly a one-man show, written and performed by Thommas Kane Byrne, with many short interruptions from members of his dance crew wondering who exactly he is talking to in the empty hall!

The play follows a similar style to their previous work and is heavily reliant on its many sharp one-liners. These are thrown out in passing with nonchalance and charm and give the performance a real edge. On opening night, there were some problems with vocal projection which made it difficult to hear some of the text. Their previous performances have been in smaller venues so there may be some work required for the transition to bigger stages. Despite this, there is a lot of talent on display here. Their performances are still a little raw but there is much to enjoy in this funny and over the top production.

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