Eamonn (From Menswear) – Review

Ill-Advised Theatre Company

Smock Alley

1/8/16

eamonn.jpg

Photo Credit: Ste Murray

Eamonn (from menswear) is 25, a dad, and he is here to tell you about his life. Through a combination of rhymed verse, song and straight talking, Fionn Foley tells the age old story of a man learning to overcome prejudices as he faces the challenges that come with raising a family and traversing everyday life. Recounting his experience of working in a menswear department, of bringing up his daughter and of awkward encounters with his neighbours, Eamonn gradually reveals his closed “us and them” mentality. He thinks people are sound, as long as they are like him. As he works his way through the mundane challenges of life, he sees nothing wrong with this outlook, but all is not as it seems and Eamonn is about to be taught a serious lesson in a bizarre setting.

Foley creates an entertaining and engaging production, bringing it to life with his dynamic and enthusiastic performance. However, it must be said that the rhyming form was, at times, stretched to its limit and could have been more effective had it been interchanged with more prose style writing. When it worked, it was excellent, but at other times it felt as though the words were being roughly wrestled into verse. Despite this, Foley’s script is vivacious, madcap and delightfully frank. There is a self-awareness to his writing that wraps the audience around his little finger and has them rolling in the aisles. This is further complimented by Molly O’Cathain’s set design and John Gunning’s lighting design, both of which demonstrate a strong understanding of the space in which they are working and use the shape of the Boys School to great advantage.

Overall, though the basic plot is a time-worn tale, Ill-Advised Theatre Company put a fresh stamp on it in the exuberant and sharp Eamonn (From Menswear).

Eamonn (From Menswear) runs in Smock Alley until 6th August.

 

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