Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: 'Men Like Us' in Smock Alley Theatre

Mouth on Fire is a theatre company set up to perform the plays of Samuel Beckett. They're in Smock Alley Theatre today at 3 pm and 8 pm with their production Men Like Us, featuring three Beckett plays: Matalang, Rough for Theatre II and The End. This approach of combining several Beckett shorts works well and is, in my experience, more enjoyable than watching a full-length Beckett play.

"Matalang", you ask? It's an Irish-language translation of Catastrophe, one of Beckett's best-known short plays. This is a good choice for translation - the physicality and snappy, repetitive dialogue makes this relatively easy for anyone such as myself with poor Irish. And if you've no Irish at all that's fine too; English-language text is projected above the performance.

I hadn't previously seen Rough for Theatre II or The End. Both were good, and performed well by Mouth on Fire. As always the Boys' School theatre in Smock Alley was helpfully atmospheric. I'd suggest sitting in the front row: you'll be wonderfully close to the action, and the dimensions of the venue mean that the high ceiling is mostly out of view when you're looking at the actors.

Tickets cost €15 / €12. The three pieces take about two hours including a 15 minute interval.

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