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Minefield – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review

Minefield – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review

Performances – 17 – 22 September
Venue – Smock Alley Theatre – Black Box

We meet Joe (Clare Monnelly) as she is sitting on a bench. Jack (Jamie O’Neill) starts to talk to her and they discover some common ground in their love of TV shows such as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and MacGyver. Jack has been volunteering at a local clinic where Joe is a resident. They meet over a number of days and the topic of their conversations slowly changes and gets more personal. That is until one day they have a brief argument. As a way to explain why she is so on edge, Joe gives Jack her full name and tells him to Google her. Joe was a former social media influencer, that was until some of the trolls from social media slipped into real life!

This is a new play written and starring Clare Monnelly. Monnelly’s previous work Charlie’s a Clepto was well received and toured extensively. It was a one woman play and told the story of 24 hours in one woman’s life. This new work has a broader canvas with three characters. It is directed by Aaron Monaghan, who is her husband in real life.

The play tells the story of Incels or “involuntary celibates”. These are men who are part of an online subculture where women are the enemy. Joe has come to the attention of one online discussion group as she makes videos of how she is treated by men in society. She wears a hidden camera and films incidents in real life, posting them online for her largely female audience. The final member of the cast is Jack Mullarkey as Killian, who is a member of one of these online groups. The repercussions of one video Joe posts online are long lasting and will change her life forever.

The three actors are impressive and get to grips with their characters, and there are some well made vlogger posts projected onto the back wall of the set throughout the performance, proclaiming ‘Happy Monday folks’ and other platitudes. If there is a failing, it’s the ending which doesn’t have the same impact as what went before, but this piece is quite insightful otherwise. The topic chosen for this work is fascinating and it is surprising that it hasn’t been used previously. The online groups of men who troll and abuse women and other groups are compelling and the reasons behind their actions even more so. This is quite a dark piece of theatre that gives its audience some uncomfortable truths about the emptiness of the online world.

Cast:
Clare Monnelly
Jamie O’Neill
Jack Mullarkey

Director: Aaron Monaghan
Producer: Clare Monnelly
Co-Producer: Niamh Ni Chonchubhair
Dramaturg: Pamela McQueen
Production Manager: Éanna Whelan
Stage Manager: Rachael Kivlehan
AV Designer: Ellen Kirk
Lighting Designer: Suzie Cummins
Set Designer: Naomi Faughnan
Sound Designer: Peter Power
Imagery: Kyle Cheldon Barnett

Cast:
Clare Monnelly
Jamie O’Neill
Jack Mullarkey

Director: Aaron Monaghan
Producer: Clare Monnelly
Co-Producer: Niamh Ni Chonchubhair
Dramaturg: Pamela McQueen
Production Manager: Éanna Whelan
Stage Manager: Rachael Kivlehan
AV Designer: Ellen Kirk
Lighting Designer: Suzie Cummins
Set Designer: Naomi Faughnan
Sound Designer: Peter Power
Imagery: Kyle Cheldon Barnett

 

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Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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