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Anonymous – The International Bar, Dublin

Writer: Mark Richardson

Director: Nathalie Clement

Reviewer: Laura Marriott

‘I am homeless. I have no name’.

For homeless men living on the streets of Dublin it can seem as though they are stripped of their identity; histories, talents and even names. Mark Richardson’s Anonymous seeks to undo this.

Dolan is new to the streets and it shows. Despite having no shoes on he is still clean and somewhat green; willing to trust in others and have faith. He opens himself up and is vulnerable when talking about how he came to be on the streets. For Dolan his life may not be a long harsh process of homelessness but for older associate Sean, it is. Sean doesn’t have friends. He doesn’t have a name either. Or at least that is what he tells people. It soon becomes clear however that he is someone others turn to for advice and comfort. Slow to talk about himself he chooses to protect himself with the invisibility that comes with being looked over hundreds of times a day. He is the self – proclaimed oldest homeless man in Dublin and knows how to survive with little else except his notebooks.

The staging and costumes are relatively simple. Rubbish and fallen leaves are bundled up in a corner. The two main characters are armed with only their backpacks, some cardboard and the items on their bodies to protect them from the elements.

Over time we learn that Sean is a poet. Some of the play is delivered in verse, and poetry is integral to the nature of Anonymous. The language used is frequently lyrical and used to underscore humorous moments. It is important to note that this play is not gloomy or self-righteous but instead has many scenes which are funny and hopeful. Which also helps to show how the homeless are still people with minds who create and value art; for themselves and for others. Can art be a way out of poverty?

There are several points of heightened emotion in the play, including the ending that could do with a little sharpening to really touch the audience. Closing with multiple curtain calls after a surprising ending Anonymous is an important and valuable play that can both entertain and touch the heart of the audience. On the streets around The International Bar people are sleeping in shop doorways and begging for money to pay for a hostel bed. It is a sobering reminder that this play draws on what is for many a way of life.

Runs until 28 January 2017 | Image: Contributed

Writer: Mark Richardson Director: Nathalie Clement Reviewer: Laura Marriott ‘I am homeless. I have no name’. For homeless men living on the streets of Dublin it can seem as though they are stripped of their identity; histories, talents and even names. Mark Richardson’s Anonymous seeks to undo this. Dolan is new to the streets and it shows. Despite having no shoes on he is still clean and somewhat green; willing to trust in others and have faith. He opens himself up and is vulnerable when talking about how he came to be on the streets. For Dolan his life may…

Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score:

Thought-Provoking

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The Ireland team is under the editorship of Ciara Murphy. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

2 comments

  1. I thought this play was really amazing. I think the lead actors really did the parts justice and made you feel for them and their situations. The young drug addict was great with the crazy up and down moods he really had me nervous. Sean was so great, a man harden by the streets but he plays him so well that you can’t but like him as you can see that there is a softer side to Sean. Would highly recommend going to see this before it finishes, great writing and some great acting! Well done!

  2. This play deserves 5 stars. Thought-provoking, emotional, humorous and heartfelt. A must see while it is on in the International Bar.