Yesterday I went to see 'Eastwallenders', a play by John Staunton, in the Sean O'Casey Community Centre in East Wall. The actors are mostly professional but the play is being run as a fund-raiser for the community centre.
Tickets cost €10 / €8. Tonight (Saturday 24th) is the final night. The play starts at 8 pm.
The play is a comedy set in East Wall. I could make one or two minor criticisms - I've been spoiled by Project Arts Centre - but nevertheless it was enjoyable. Paul O'Flaherty (playing Charlie Malone) deserves particular praise for an extremely credible performance, although he was assisted in this by some wonderful one-liners in the script.
I do have one major criticism but it's not of the play itself. The community centre has no internet presence at all and would in my opinion benefit from getting a website, or joining facebook, or something. Anything. I almost arrived late because I'd wasted time trying to find information on the internet about the centre and the play. Yes, there's a little, but it's scattered and insufficient.
A comedy can benefit from a large audience, because laughter is infectious. As a play Eastwallenders can be considered a success, but as a production it needed more promotion. I'm critical of the community centre rather than the director/cast because the play was being run for the benefit of the community centre so it was in their interest to draw people in. (Quite possibly those involved thought there was enough promotion... but there never is.) If you're trying to raise funds and raise your profile you need to reach out to people, and not just to those in your immediate area. Just because this is a facility for East Wall doesn't mean it should ignore the internet or the wider community. If nothing else, they should be trying to get those tenners out of us to keep the centre funded.
The centre is a good amenity with a good theatre, so I hope it prospers, but to do so someone needs to step up and make it happen.