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Bang! – Dublin Theatre Festival – Review

Bang! – Dublin Theatre Festival – Review

Venue – Smock Alley Theatre
Date(s) – 15,16, 18-23 Oct 7.30pm
Bang! by Michelle Read

It is the 25th wedding anniversary of Marion (Gene Rooney) and Adam (Mark D’Aughton). They are having a party in their house to celebrate the event, with many friends and family attending. We meet the couple in their kitchen as they prepare for the occasion, along with their housekeeper Alejandra (Alexandra Conlon). The caterer seems to have got lost somewhere en route and Marion is getting worried the night will turn into a disaster. Her brother Declan (Simon O’Gorman) arrives at the door, he is a recovering alcoholic and something of a wildcard in the proceedings. The final character is Kim (Maura Bird) who is the daughter of the happy couple. She’s on the cusp of becoming an adult and is annoyed that her mother tried to pick out her dress for the evening. The night ahead will have many revelations that will change their family dynamics forever.

Bang! is written by Michelle Read, who is an actress, playwright and former stand-up comedian. Read was born in Norwich but came to Ireland in the early 90s and has lived here since.

It is difficult to discuss the plot without spoiling some of its many twists and turns. Having said that, the programme gives away the biggest shock of the evening, so you should probably avoid reading it before you watch the production. It’s best to see the play without knowing the many surprises you have in store.

The production is set in the kitchen of the house, where the family members return to at various points of the evening. The space is simple with a counter centre stage along with a wooden floor and some storage. We see the five cast members during the evening while hearing some of the events taking place offstage.

The plot seems to move from one crisis to the next, with each character having their own dilemma. It may have worked better to reduce the number of twists and focus on a smaller number of plot points. The audience could do with a few moments of calm in amongst the chaos. At times the emotions on stage get quite explosive as we see arguments between the various characters. It’s a work that deals with many of the burning topics of our times.

Cast & Crew:
Directed by Davey Kelleher
Cast includes: Maura Bird, Mark D’Aughton, Alexandra Conlon, Mark D’Aughton, Simon O’Gorman & Gene Rooney
Set & Costume Design: Sarah Foley
Music & Sound Design: Brian Keegan
Lighting Design: Kevin Smith
Movement Director: Eddie Kay
Dramaturgy by Pamela McQueen

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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