Durang Durang | The Pearse Centre
Review by: Lauren O'Toole
Title: Durang Durang
Venue: The Pearse Centre
Dates: Until Sunday the 25th of June
Director: Ronan Phelan
Writer: Christopher Durang
Cast: Camille Ross (Twelfth Night), Moe Dunford (Four Last Things), Chris Gallagher (The Get Together), Anne Gill (The Get Together), Rebecca Grimes (Iron) Donncha O’Dea (I Am My Own Wife)
In a Nutshell: Durang Durang is six often bizarre, consistently hilarious plays – theatre for the ADD generation. Go see it.
The Good: The Characters are brilliantly drawn and exquisitely depicted by the incredibly funny ensemble.
The Bad: The first segment For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls had a few too many false endings and could do with a slight bit of editing.
You’ll like this if: You like your comedy served quick, slick and deliciously dark.
Avoid if: If you prefer to take your time settling into a play – the quick turnover of scenes is bound to give you mental whiplash.
Star Rating: 5/5
Lauren's Full Review:
The programme for Durang Durang reveals that the show’s genesis came from one night in a pub when producer and actor Camille Ross was encouraged by two other cast members to follow her dream and put together the show. The close fraternity that was obviously present from the very beginning follows through onto the stage with an astounding chemistry that abounds throughout the entire cast and is matched by each individual's accomplished acting and comic timing and complemented by Christopher Durang's hilarious script. The series of short plays are parodies on various American dramatic styles and yet you don’t need to understand the intricacies to enjoy this production, merely a sense of humour.
The opening piece For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls sets the show off on a strong footing featuring Anne Gill as a glamorous but exasperated southern mother who is oblivious to one son's closeted homosexuality while simultaneously all too aware of another son’s simple ways. Mrs Wingvalley treads a fine line between maintaining her southern sensibilities and completely losing it with dim-witted Lawrence's (Donncha O'Dea) inane cocktail stirrer collecting. When Lawrence's brother Tom (Moe Dunford) brings him home a suitor from the factory he works at, the loud-mouthed Virginia (Rebecca Grimes) adds rather than detracts from Mrs Wingvalley's woes.
In The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of Where Babies Come From O'Dea and Dunford return as young brothers determined to get to the bottom of the local gossip that Nancy Drew has a bun in the oven. The boys employ the help of nymphomaniac school nurse, Nurse Rathchet, to help their investigation but all three get distracted in exploring the finer details of where babies come from which results in a series of amusing and adventurous freeze frame moments. Rebecca Grimes is fabulous in her breathy and busty depiction of the over-sexed nurse, overshadowing any possible line-crossing with her lewd hilarity. A similar tone is maintained in Naomi in the Living Room. This piece brings the first act to a close on a high with Camille Ross as the self-proclaimed psychotic Naomi in a piece that is highly reminiscent of a scene from Little Britain. As Naomi hosts a visit from her son John (Chris Gallagher) and his wife Johnna (Anne Gill) she alternates between politely addressing them like strangers, hurling abuse and humping the sofa.
The second act is equally strong and kicks off with Business Lunch at the Russian Tea Rooms and Camille Ross as an obnoxious film producer attempting in vain to get O’Dea’s small-time playwright on board with her equally obnoxious script concepts. Once again Ross gets the character down to a tee, mastering the quick fire vacuous Hollywood business spiel.
Anne Gill’s refined elegance is the focus of The Funeral Parlour in which she features as Susan, a widow who is set upon at her husband’s wake by the sort of pest one expects to encounter only on public transport. This is swiftly followed by the final piece - Medea, a brilliant parody of the Greek tragedy in which the toga clad chorus spouts titbits from self-help books and brings the entire cast together in a solid ending to a truly enjoyable evening of comic theatre.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Monday 20th June 2011 | Theatre
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