Spandex Blues – Review

Smock Alley

27/1/16

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If you thought sibling rivalry was a problem in your family, you have nothing on E, Dublin’s greatest super-villain, youngest member of Dublin’s greatest superhero family. Written by Diane Crotty and directed by David Doyle, Spandex Blues is the simple but royally entertaining story of E, super-villain and little sister.

Both performers, Diane Crotty as E and Luke Casserly as Henchie, deliver engaging and enthusiastic performances. Crotty brings a great balance to her role, prompting gales of laughter throughout, while still conveying the more serious elements of her story with a touching sincerity. Her fluctuation in tone kept the piece moving apace and never let the energy burn out or flag. The cast also managed audience participation admirably, effectively moving what was a rather nervous audience to a point where they were willing to join Casserly in singing the Mission Impossible theme tune.

The design is simple and, for the most part, effective. The pre-set, with a video of various locations around Dublin city projected onto a white-board and surrounded by planning diagrams immediately framed the setting while also showing that it was not entirely the usual Dublin city. The lighting design has a few minor issues, with too much shadow falling on the actors’ faces at times, though that was also a case of the actors not always finding their light. That is, however, a small complaint about what was, overall a very entertaining piece of theatre.

Spandex Blues will make you both laugh out loud and pause to think, and most of all it will transform your view of the number 16 bus through Drumcondra forever.

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