One Moment Now – Bewley’s Café Theatre, Dublin

Reviewer: Alice Jane Kennedy

Writer: John King and Finbarr Doyle

Producer: Tilly Taylor

One Moment Now is a new audio play showing in the Bewley’s Café. It is definitely a unique experience. It is both immersive and interactive, which has been seen as a new trend in contemporary theatre. For this play, you are sitting at a table in the centre of the atrium of the café, alone with just a set of headphones and a bag of coffee beans. Through the audio instructions, you are guided in how to use the coffee beans as symbols of the play. For those who don’t like being given instructions, you are completely free to do as you wish during the play. Despite being in a busy café on Grafton Street, the play almost allows you to be entirely alone within your head. It definitely challenges your instinct to not draw attention to yourself when in public.

The play transports you to a different time, and places you in the first person narrative of a child of nine years, and to a memory, while specific, that has elements that are universal. It is a very relaxed setting as you’re guided through the past, and allowed to explore themes of family, consciousness and loss. It makes you question a lot of things that are regular in our lives, and causes you to reflect. It is an opportunity to take a break for yourself and go inside your mind for a while without rushing.

Using the Bewley’s coffee beans is a very clever choice as it is fitting for the setting and makes the play very distinctive. It would be a great experience for Bewley’s to use as a permanent feature, offering a creative and artistic experience for visitors. Of course, Bewley’s is a very decadent setting for an audio experience but you can also close your eyes if you prefer to visualise the imagery described.

It is a heartfelt and touching play, and also feels particularly Irish. It is a grounding experience, which leaves you a bit different, even if only for a little while after. You are more aware of sound and life happening around you. You’re more aware of yourself, where you are and the people surrounding you, who we can so often forget are people existing solely in a world of their own. You’re more aware of your space, and of those sharing it with you, if only for one moment.

This short, tabletop audio play from Murmuration, is a unique production and way to spend your lunchtime.

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

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