Writer: Dick Walsh
Directors: Dick Walsh and James Moran
Reviewer: Ciarán Leinster
Oneday is an immersive, atmospheric experience that, while it may not achieve all it desires, will still undoubtedly provoke questions to be asked about the nature, and value, of the news media in the modern world. Even before it has begun, the audience is made aware of the issues of the day; a copy of the Galway Sentinel from 2012 is distributed, and people are encouraged to read.
The stage is occupied by Walsh, performer Shane Connolly, and a drummer whose contributions never fail to boost the narrative. Walsh and Connolly occasionally converse, and they together unveil the project: to analyse the news stories from one particular day, 13th March 2012, when Occupy Galway was, despite warnings, still holding out as Ireland’s last Occupy camp. By various means, including mime, audience interaction, dialogue, multimedia backdrops, and copies of contemporary newspapers, the pair construct a broad sweep of the day’s biggest stories – local, global, financial, even sports news are discussed, re-enacted, and investigated.
If one is occasionally annoyed that there is no coherent narrative that leads anywhere, this appears to be the point – it serves as an attempt to get us to ask why certain topics are news, how news is brought to the media, and whether the most important stories of the day will be relevant in the future. Post-2016, this point feels as relevant as ever.
The strongest section relates to a person mentioned in a court report, the most factual part of a newspaper, whose identity is pursued by Walsh. He describes numerous methods he used to track down this mystery person, all of which ultimately fail. He comes to the dispiriting conclusion that there is, in fact, no information behind the news.
Walsh and Connolly have very easy, relaxed stage presences, and seem to be extremely comfortable with each other. While they occasionally allow themselves to become self-indulgent, repetitive, and gratuitous with descriptions of violence, this is a piece that will prompt many questions surrounding how we know what we think we know.
Runs until 15 September 2018 | Image: Contributed