The Race – The Ark – Dublin Dance Festival – Review

The RaceThe Ark – Dublin Dance Festival – Review

The Race – Marc Brew
A MOVE Commission, co-commissioned by The Ark, Dublin Dance Festival and Arts & Disability Ireland – World Premiere
Duration: 45 mins (no interval)

Until May 21st – Ages 4+

Can you scurry like a mouse? Roar like a Lion? If so, then I have the perfect play for you! This is a new piece aimed squarely at younger audience members. The production is said to be for those aged 4+ but I suspect a few in the audience were more youthful than the prescribed age group.

The production tells a familiar story with a twist. We meet a gentle and slow-moving tortoise along with his adversary, the fast-moving hare. They decide to have a race, and the rest, as they say, is history! The twist on this classic story is that the production adds a few new characters to the mix. We meet a tiny mouse, a powerful lion, along with a grasshopper. There is also a multitude of ants that scurry in all directions.

The piece is told through dance, movement, and acrobatics along with some straightforward storytelling. The production is also presented in Irish Sign Language, along with subtitles and projections on the screen behind the stage, making it more accessible to those with disabilities. One of the performers was a wheelchair user, which adds to the diversity of the performers. Puppets are used for all of the animal characters, and the puppeteers mirrored the movement of the different animals and insects.

This is a gentle and fun production for younger viewers. The audience is greeted at the door by the Ark staff who offer them stickers of the different animals. There is a lot of audience interaction throughout the production, with the children being invited to sing the animal song! The Ark is always a good spot to introduce kids to the world of theatre and dance and this production caused much laughter and excitement with its young audience.

Marc Brew – Director and Choreographer
Rob Heaslip – Performer and Rehearsal Director
Caoimhe Coburn Gray – Performer
Florent Devlesaver – Performer
Helen Hall – Performer
Kelly Phelan – Producer
Alyson Cummins – Set and Costume Designer
Suzie Cummins – Lighting Designer
Tom Lane – Composer and Sound Designer
Caoimhe Dunn – Puppet Designer
Kilian Waters – AV Designer
Clive Welsh – Stage Manager
Sara Gannon – Assistant Stage Manager and Artist Liaison
Toni Bailey – Wardrobe supervisor and Costume maker
Sean Herlihy – ISL Consultant
Chloe Commins – Aerial Consultant
Bríd Ní Ghruagáin – Audio Describer and Touch Tour Guide
Mel Wilson – Access Worker

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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