I Could Have Been A Dancer – New Theatre – Review
Event Dates: 16/08/2022 – 20/08/2022
This is the story of Shane, a young Irish man who has just got his leaving cert results. While the others around him are celebrating, filled with excitement about their prospective new life in college, he is more pessimistic about his future. School was never his thing and his results have only proved that. He goes out for a few cans of Dutch Gold with his best friend Ger and tries to figure out his place in the world. The two young men travel to Newcastle, where he will meet women and experiment with drugs for the first time, all the while wondering where their lives are going!
This is a one-man show with David Greene playing the main character Shane, along with a number of minor characters. He is introduced to the audience in an unusual style. As the lights go out an electronic dance song plays through the speaker system. We then hear from the back of the theatre some noise, as Shane has arrived. He slowly dances his way down the stairs and along the front row of the theatre before taking his place on the stage. He then starts his tale in earnest, talking directly to the audience.
This play is adapted from the short stories of Séan Tanner, who won the Hennessy Literary Award for First Fiction in 2017. The text is filled with wry wit and insights into life in modern Ireland. It is a bleak vision, dealing with alcoholism, depression and suicide but there is humour throughout to lighten the mood.
There is no strong arc to this play, instead, we get tales of life for a young man who is struggling to adapt to adult life, using alcohol to soften the blow. It is a well-written text but without a natural conclusion, it feels a little open-ended. The performance of David Greene is the real highlight as he pumps energy and charisma into this character, creating a high-octane hour of theatre.
Writer: Séan Tanner
Director: Michelle Lucy
Performer: David Greene
Poster Design: Colm Halpin
Lighting Design: Cathy O’Carroll
Music: Sean Kobina
Stage Manager: Al Bellamy