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DUBLIN THEATRE FESTIVAL: Everyone’s Fine With Virginia Woolf – O’Reilly Theatre, Dublin

Writer: Kate Scelsa

Director: John Collins

Reviewer: Ciara L. Murphy

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, not so in the tumultuous performance of Everyone’s Fine With Virginia Woof. Presented by Elevator Repair Service, who are best known for their devised work, this original play by Kate Scelsa takes aim at many of the twentieth century’s most famous male playwrights.

The production re-works Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf as a piece of feminist theatre, pulling no punches in examining the problematics of the gender dynamics in the play. Tennessee Williams, Henrik Ibsen, Samuel Beckett, and many more are under the microscope in this farcical and fun show.

The set, designed by Louisa Thompson, works well in this context. Its two-dimensional backdrop suiting the form of the piece. The ensemble (Vin Knight, Annie McNamara, Gavin Price, April Matthis, and Lindsay Hockaday) complement each other in this fast-paced and satirical presentation. The energy remains high throughout with most of the comedic moments hitting their marks.

Despite this, this reviewer can’t help but wonder about the accessibility of this show. Without a reasonable knowledge of modern theatre, the show could come across as a bit of an ‘in-joke’. There are moments where the onstage action could have been more cohesive, and perhaps this is down to a change in process for the group who often spend years making a show.

Often baffling, but consistently humorous, this is certainly a memorable night at the theatre.

Runs until 7 October 2018 | Image: Joan Marcus

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