Hollow and Dead-Eyed Beasts – Smock Alley – Review
Sun 10 – Sat 16 Nov 2019 | 8pm | plus 3pm on Sat | Boys’ School
Charles died five years ago today. He was hit by a bus while crossing the road to buy a litre of milk! The three inhabitants of the house all have their own reasons to miss him. They were members of a band that Charles formed called the ‘Bright Young Things’ who had 8 Top 40 hits, but sadly their moment in the spotlight seems to have died with Charles. One of the members of the band, Simon (James O’Neill), is Charles’ son, and they all live in his house taking far too many drugs and talking about their glory days. They intend to spend today sober as a mark of respect for their dear departed manager. This will bring tensions to the fore and also some uncomfortable truths!
This is a new work produced by Some People Theatre Company. It was written and directed by Pea Dinneen and takes a satirical view of the lives of child stars. The play is quite over the top, with a far fetched view of drug abuse and the excesses of fame and fortune. All the while, a stuffed dog stands centre stage and is pivotal to the plot. It is the remains of their dog Jarvis who recently died. Cameron (Kevin Cleary) had him stuffed and he stands to attention, looking out at the audience throughout. Mel (Niamh McGowan) believes the ghost of Charles has possessed the dog!
The play also has an unrelated sub-plot about the individuals who created the Macarena. It is difficult to say quite what the relevance of this second story is, but the actors all say their lines while repeatedly performing the famous dance craze, which is impressive in its own right!
The play is relatively short at 50 minutes long and does create much high-jinx and a number of laughs. Not all of the gags work, but there is enough here to show their potential. This is a young theatre company and the actors and crew are learning from their time on stage. It will be interesting to see where the company goes next.
WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY: Pea Dinneen
CAST: Kevin Cleary, Niamh McGowan, James O’Neill
PRODUCED BY: Caoimhe McGowan
LIGHTING DESIGNER : Riain Condon
STAGE MANAGER : Kate Canavan
GRAPHIC DESIGNER : Kate Brady