Entertainment Theatre & Arts

Thursday 25 April 2019

Starlet: The Irish Midlands with a touch of Beckett

Starlet Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin concluded

Smock Alley is now in the fourth year of its Scene + Heard festival, presenting works in progress from more than 105 companies. Each show is at a different stage of development; all are being test-driven in front of an audience to identify weaknesses and opportunities for tweaking.

Alison Spittle's debut one-act play, Starlet, featured as part of the line-up. It is a crazy caper set in a Toyota. A couple journey from a house to the cinema. Then from the cinema to the pub. Then from the pub to the lake for some, eh, romantic action. They are like the kind of people who feature in Bruce Springsteen songs, only wonkier and more Irish Midlands. There is a touch of Beckett; the characters are physically confined and the mordant wit points at a terrible personal and societal emptiness among all the gags.

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Performers Roxanna Nic Liam and Peter McGann do the script proud. It is hilarious. Very black, with a wicked satirical spin on over-the-top road safety adverts, rural Tidy Towns committees and local radio station death notices. It all gets fairly X-rated towards the end, with some outrageous prop use; it will suit an evening audience with a taste for comedic anarchy. Good luck to the Starlet and all who travel in her.

Scene + Heard continues until March 2

Katy Hayes

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