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It's a party... but we're not invited

There is plenty of cocaine at Johann's place. But the host is missing, and not one of his sharply attired friends seems to know where he is.

So, like all good mates when a member of the pack vanishes, these six young, drug-fuelled hedonists choose to sit tight and get high. Which leads to all sorts of shenanigans. Sexual encounters. Violence. Crazy dance sessions. The more they snort, the more messed up this evening of debauchery gets.

Eve loses her clothes. So does Tristan. And then there's poor Jonathon -- a rather confused individual.

Yes, it seems that Elevator -- through decorated visuals and extravagant dialogue -- is trying to make a point. The only problem is, it's all over the place.

A voiceover tells us that the events unravelling before our eyes take place "tomorrow" -- the first sign that what we're dealing with here is contemporary theatre at its most pretentious. Granted, Thisispopbaby's previous production -- the enjoyable if slightly overpraised Alice in Funderland -- showcased a marvellous sense of humour, ingenuity and a wittily staged piece of modern Irish theatre.


But here, the company and its creative team appear to have lost the run of themselves, indulging in a 'story' that isn't so much annoying as it is void of anything worth paying attention to.

Characters frequently slip into an electro pop-fuelled music video, but it's all rather unnecessary, and just a tad on the dull side. And then there's the script. If Elevator was indeed trying to say something about wealth, excess and silly little rich kids who can't get no satisfaction, then it's gone the wrong way about it.

People do not talk the way Tristan and his buddies talk. They do not go off on preposterous tangents like this. Why are the gang all dressed up for the ball if they're out in the woods at a friend's house party? There is some decent acting talent (Ciaran O'Brien and Aoibhinn McGinnity have had better roles), but ultimately, Elevator has all the feel of a lengthy in-joke that we're not supposed to get. I don't think I want to. HHIII

>Chris Wasser

Runs at Abslout Fringe Festival until tomorrow