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Intriguing slice of lives less ordinary

It's a small world we live in. Even smaller, in fact, are the streets of Dublin, where "everyone has met someone who's met everyone else in this city at least once."

Or so says Marie, the restaurant manager. She ought to know. That actor fella she was serving? He's already had a significant encounter with her journalist brother. The chap might even have had a few words with a Japanese florist -- who, by the way, is in the same dance class as Marie. Confused? Don't be. The clue is in the title (Shibari is a Japanese word, meaning 'to tie' ... it also has something to do with bondage ... yep, there are some kinky shenanigans involved).

We're presented with six characters, some of whom are just passing through each other's lives. It's who these people are and how their lives might inadvertently intertwine over the course of a month, that keeps writer Gary Duggan's intriguing scenarios ticking over.

It's all about "that six degrees of separation thing", as Marie (Janet Moran) so cleverly puts it. In an attempt to make this tiny town of ours seem even smaller, no more than two performers share the stage at the same time. There are numerous twists and turns. Some of them work very well, others ... not so much. Whatever the case, Ian Lloyd Anderson (Liam, the journo) is easily the best thing about it.


An incident involving a botched movie interview in a hotel room sees Duggan stretch the boundaries of his warped reality just a tad too far, but Anderson shines, juggling the right amount of self-doubt and witty arrogance to pull off an otherwise unbelievable stunt. He is in good company, even if his co-stars aren't always at ease with their surroundings.

A poorly constructed scene in a karaoke bar suffers from both dreadful dialogue and a slight case of over-acting courtesy of Michael Yare (Nick, the movie star) and Kate Nic Chonaonaigh (Eva, the train wreck). A peculiar stage design (there's a table on the ceiling...) gives some of the more intense encounters between these characters a rather distracting and, at times, pompous glow. Piece together its finest traits and Shibari is, at best, a fascinating slice of theatre. But it might melt your head along the way ... HHHII

Running until November 3