Masterclass – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review
Brokentalkers & Adrienne Truscott
Performances: – 11–17 September @ 20:45, 18 September @ 13:00
In something of a coup for the Dublin Fringe Festival and Brokentalkers, they have one of the best-known directors of our time talking at the festival, telling the audience of his achievements and his creative process. The Director in question is known for his many controversial works, which include the provocative play ‘Fat C**t’, among others. He’s also known for his on-set antics, fighting with his cast members and tormenting his female actors! This work gives us an insight into his life and work… or maybe not!
This production starts life as an offbeat interview with the fictitious director, who is treated in reverential terms by the interviewer. The set is simple with a couple of armchairs and a pot plant on either side. The audience is sitting at tables in this cabaret-style production, which also helpfully allows for socially distant pods of 1, 2 or 4.
The early part of the production is set in the 60s, with loud suits and outlandish sideburns. The enfant terrible director, played by Adrienne Truscott, holds court and abuses the interviewer (Feidlim Cannon) until the whole production grinds to a halt and things start getting a little bit.. Meta? The actors on stage come out of character and start to argue about how the production came into existence. The play deals with gender and power, using the status of the director to discuss the topic. Why are powerful men allowed to abuse their status and insult those around them? Are we all in some way culpable as members of a society that allows these men to exist and prosper?
This play is produced by Irish Theatre company Brokentalkers, along with Adrienne Truscott. Brokentalkers are known to many followers of Irish Theatre for their innovative and unorthodox productions such as This Beach and Woman Undone. Truscott is less familiar to Irish audiences. She’s an American “choreographer, circus acrobat, dancer, writer, storyteller and comedian” who is known for work with a strong feminist theme such as “Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy”.
This work asks a number of difficult questions of the audience. Has Adrienne gone too far to prove her point? Or is it now time for Feidlim to stand back and let others take the limelight? It’s a smart and fun production with a lot to say on gender politics. While #MeToo has dropped out of the headlines, it’s a problem that won’t go away.
Written by Feidlim Cannon, Gary Keegan & Adrienne Truscott
Creative Producer Rachel Bergin
Movement Direction by Eddie Kay
Set Design by Ellen Kirk
Lighting Design by Dara Hoban
Costume Design by Sarah Foley
Sound Design by Jennifer O’Malley
Production Manager Anthony Hanley
Stage Manager Evie McGuinness