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Dogs of War – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre – Walkabout Theatre – Review

Dogs of War  – Bewley’s Cafe Theatre – Walkabout Theatre – Review

Dogs of War  – Written by Fionn Foley – Bewleys Cafe  Theatre Walkabout St. Stephen’s Green
Featuring Clodagh Mooney-Duggan
Photographer: Jeda de Bri

Review by Frank L. 

This is the third instalment of the Walkabout Theatre series, produced by Bewley’s Cafe Theatre. The location for this production is Stephen’s Green, in the area surrounding the statue of Henry Moore’s W.B Yeats.  Stephen’s Green is a spot in which dog owners regularly give their pooches a walk. It is therefore a good location for the play which is all about Judy (Clodagh Mooney-Duggan) and her new enterprise – a dog walking service entitled “Absolute Pup”.

Judy explains how she came to set up the service. It is not a happy story. She was ousted from her job in the leading stock photography agency. She is poisonously bitter about it and in particular with one of her ex-colleagues who she considers to be responsible for her downfall. However, the new service is off to a bright start with Judy picking up five clients in jig time including a dog belonging to her despised ex-colleague.

The pooches are a motley crew that include “Brutus”, “Knockers” and other somewhat out of the ordinary names for dogs. Judy explains how she picks up the dogs for their first communal walk. Cleverly in Jeda de Bri’s direction each dog is represented by a  different type of dog lead. Everything, unfortunately, does not go quite as Judy intended and she explains the ins and outs of what happened.

Mooney-Duggan from the outset brings you into the story with barely controlled venom as to how she was ousted from her job. She is in a not-to-be-messed with humour as the play begins. Consequently, a young and not very competent barista gets the full blast of her tongue. But she is all sweetness and light as she talks with various dog owners on the phone.  In short, Duggan creates a credibly varied world about “Absolute Pup” and she does so with great humour. In this, she is helped by a text which is full of the jargon which surrounds such enterprises but nicely laced with knowing asides.

It all comes together in a satisfactory whole in a space not often visited in Stephen’s Green in front of the seagull-droppings-defaced Moore statue. Duggan brings you into her world and keeps your attention. It is well worth a visit. Go and enjoy.

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