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DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: How To Be Angry – Smock Alley, Dublin

Writer: Camille Lucy Ross

Director: Anna Sheils-McNamee

Reviewer: David Keane

Anger is omnipresent in various forms. The inane conversation you can’t have anymore. The uninvited attention at a bar. The social problems that never seem to get resolved. The person sitting next to you in the theatre. Then what? Shout, scream, and punch? Or swallow it down and pretend that it doesn’t exist?

From mild annoyance to seething rage, this 55 minute piece covers the whole gamut of anger.  While How To Be Angry tackles a wide variety of social issues, such as addiction and homelessness, it is at its best when it hits the funny bone, which is frequently does. The ensemble cast are terrific throughout and their well-choreographed moves combined with some hilariously ordinary moments results in a show that is oddly cathartic. The casts’ representation of anger is hugely physical and reflects how we carry and project this primary emotion through breath, movement, and stance.

How To Be Angry is aptly raw in places and splices abstract performance with slapstick comedy. Anna Sheils-McNamee’s direction keeps the piece free flowing yet confined at times and reveals a way many of us deal with anger. There are moments on the edge of explosion that are then defused simply because we wouldn’t want to cause a scene, would we? In a set-less show such as this performance is paramount but some of the weight is borne by the excellent lighting and sound.

This hugely relatable piece takes an everyday emotion that is often inappropriately managed and exposes the absurdity of it all. The performance is non-stop action throughout and How To Be Angry is an entertaining way of letting go of that internal rage. At least for a little while.

Runs until 23 September 2017 | Image: Contributed

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