This, That & the Other – New Theatre – Review
From April 25th-29th.
Duration: 60 Mins.
This tells the story of two marathon runners on their big day. The two runners have no knowledge of each other and have very different approaches to their chosen sport. One is meticulous in her preparation, carefully considering every aspect of her journey. The other is much more lackadaisical with minimal preparation before turning up on the day! We follow both runners as they fight against their inner demons on their massive jog.
This is a new play that delves into the modern obsessions of marathon running. The play asks why would someone put themselves through this ordeal and what drives them towards the finish line. We also get to see inside the lives of these two characters, as they reveal aspects of their daily routine.
The two runners are dressed in black and the back wall of the theatre is also painted black, so the emphasis is solely on the runners and their internal monologue. There is no interaction between the runners, despite being only metres apart. At several times during the piece, there are hints that they could interact but it never happens.
The two performers are largely running on the spot throughout the play as they deliver their lines which must make it a tough physical performance for the actors. It is also difficult to watch the two actors bobbing up and down on stage. If you suffer from motion sickness this is not the play for you! You can always choose just to close your eyes and focus on the words.
The writer and director of this piece is Pádraig O’Connor, a native of Ballymacadam, Castleisland in Kerry. Pádraig aimed to write a piece where two people “end up running a marathon for completely different reasons, yet both share a desperate need to find a way of getting through the race”. The play stars Maeve Bradley and Ben Waddell, who are both graduates of The Lir Academy.
This is a clever and quirky production that gives us an insight into a modern-day pastime that many indulge in. It hints that there is more behind the activity than the need for physical perfection! The play would fit neatly into a fringe festival schedule and delivers laughs and occasional insights into modern life.
Written and Directed by Pádraig O’Connor.
Starring Maeve Bradley and Ben Waddell.
Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review
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