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DUBLIN THEATRE FESTIVAL: Breaking Rainbows – Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin

Creator: Orla Barry

Reviewer: Clara Mallon

Visual artist and shepherd Orla Barry brings her live performance Breaking Rainbows to Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. With the promise of using an entire year’s production of wool from her sheep farm in County Wexford, there is an air of intrigue attached to the performance.

Running as part this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival the piece is inspired by Barry’s own personal experience of rural life.

The cold sparse exhibition space contrasts with the mountain of cloud-like sheep’s wool which Einat Tuchman and Derrick Devine integrate into their collective narratives. As the piece progresses, we are immersed in deconstructed exploration of man/woman’s age old bond with nature.

Through a series of monologue episodes and chance procedures, the piece succeeds in taking us on a meandering journey through the world of shepherding. From light-hearted musings on sheep farming traditions, to more serious questioning of contemporary ecological and consumerism issues, the ninety minute piece covers a lot of ground.

Although the tone of the piece is experimentally playful and humorous, this is ultimately a challenging performance that asks very real questions.

Barry’s multidisciplinary approach combines improvisation, ritualistic chants, songs, narrative episodes and sheep’s wool in her exploration of our problematic disconnection with nature.

The piece manages to strike the balance between thought-provoking, relevant and fun.

Runs until 1 October as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival | Image: contributed

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