Elysium Nevada | Axis Theatre
Star Rating: 3/5
Title: Elysium Nevada
Venue: The Axis, Ballymun
Director: Terry Byrne
Writer: Barry McKinley
Cast: Steve Curran, Ian Blackmore, Ann Russell
Bob and Mike sit side by side in their wheelchairs, a desert scape behind them, an unconscious woman on oxygen to their right and their minds occupied solely by their own mortality and the treachery of their children. In Elysium Nevada these disgruntled nursing home residents recount their pasts, both glorious and inglorious, while mulling over their many gripes surrounding their current living situation. Mike spins yarns of days in Las Vegas and waxes lyrical about his many successes - both romantically and professionally - outshining Bob's less racy history with his outlandish tales. The dialogue flits easily back and forth between Ian Blackmore and Steve Curran, the two channelling "Grumpy Old Men" and Jack Nicholson in equal parts, the sole distraction from their miserable existence their flame-haired companion passed out in the adjacent wheelchair.
When she does wake up, about midway into the play, Ann Russell's gives a remarkably vivacious turn as the young at heart Constance and certainly holds her own in the banter with the rest of the cast. The actors deliver strong comic performances and kept the audience in the Axis chuckling away throughout. Although the depiction of the elderly is a little one-dimensional at times, even verging on patronising, writer Barry McKinley is redeemed somewhat towards the end by addressing the highly emotional topic of dementia with a sensitivity that had been noticeably absent for the first part of the play. Elysium Nevada is amusing and in parts has real heart and although it is not the most satisfying forensic interrogation of our older generation, it's a laugh all the same.
Review by: Lauren O'Toole
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Tuesday 29th May 2012 | Theatre
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