Creator: Cathal McGuire
Reviewer: Ciara L Murphy
Greeted by a sparse stage in Galway’s Nun’s Island Theatre, the audience ofAlways Alone Together settle in for what will be an intriguing and well thought out dramatic experience. The form is simple, creator and performer Cathal McGuire will tell us stories. The important thing about these stories is that they are all true.
It is difficult to keep an audience interested in one man telling stories for seventy five minutes, but somehow McGuire makes this work. The audience is brought on a tantalising journey through information and communication technology history (you would think this would be boring – far from it!) The highlight of this collection of stories for this reviewer was the truly magical, and almost unbelievable, tale of one man’s ability to hack telephones by whistling. As McGuire has asserted the truth of these stories earlier in the performance, the magical nature of the story becomes even more intriguing, because it is true.McGuire and his team have really done their research here, and it is this attention to detail that allows for this production to be sustainable over such a lengthy period. McGuire teases the audience, creating a subtle but jaunting tension as we wait to hear the ‘ending’ of these stories.
This reviewer feels however that perhaps the staging of this performance was too sparse and could have benefited from some visual aids to keep the audience focused. Adept as McGuire is at holding our attention throughout, the mind did occasionally wander. The moments where McGuire interacted with us, the audience, created a nice sense of community among the group and this reviewer feels that these moments would have been heightened had there been more audience members present.
All in allAlways AloneTogetheris a fascinating jaunt into a world that few of us know about, but that exists all around us. McGuire holds his ownand this production succeeds in creating an experience that is both educational and entertaining.
Runs until 5 May 2016 | Image: courtesy of Galway Theatre Festival