Conviction – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review
by Fran Winston
Performances: 20 – 24 September – 12:00 – 19:00, various times – €12
Venue: Meeting Point: St. Kevin’s Park
Inspired by her walks in this historic park during the pandemic, writer Eva O’Connor presents an audio experience about two sisters on a graveyard jaunt at sunrise. With the world shut down, they meet for coffee before work, doing laps of the dead as they try and navigate this strange new normal.
Exploring what it means to be an artist who can no longer make work, alongside the sibling relationship and the solace found in graveyards, this approximately 20-minute experience sees you listening to the piece as you take in the surroundings. There is an installation tree featuring two giant hanging coffee cups with pens and paper supplied if you wish to commit something you lost in the past two years to the cups.
At its heart, this is a radio play and it is interesting to see others’ reactions as they listen to the words. Everyone who attended the performance I did seemed to find a different meaning in it, with some getting rather emotional while others were just taking in the scenery around them. It is a beautiful setting and would be lovely for a stroll even if you weren’t attending a show and I can see how it inspired O’Connor.
It’s recommended that you bring a coffee to really get into the spirit of it (I, unfortunately, don’t drink coffee so this element was lost on me). And make sure to bring a smartphone with data and your headphones (although they can supply devices if you don’t have access to this).
This is a beautifully written piece – but the subject matter might still be a bit raw for some people with the lockdowns so fresh in people’s minds. Personally, I never want to hear the word lockdown again or be reminded of those miserable two years. The highlight of this is when she talks about having work produced in New York – before that became an impossibility. The portions recalling how small her world became as the pandemic hit are actually rather depressing.
Everyone’s reaction to this will be personal and different. It is an interesting idea but won’t be to everyone’s taste due to the subject matter, but for the calming stroll in such a peaceful and beautiful location it is worth your time.