Director: Peter Daly
Writers: Steve Blount, Peter Daly, Gavin Kostick and Janet Moran
Reviewer: Ciara Murphy
The critically acclaimed Swing, presented by Fishamble, returns to Dublin’s Bewley’s Café Theatre to an eager audience and a full house. Winner of the Bewley’s Café Theatre Little Gem Award at the 2013 Dublin Fringe Festival, the production lives up to its name providing an energetic, fun and highly entertaining lunchtime performance.
The story takes place at a swing dancing class in Dublin. May, played by Janet Moran, is a graphic designer and aspiring artist who enrols in the classes to keep herself occupied while her boyfriend is away. Joe, played by Steve Blount, is an unemployed and now mature student of horticulture who after many years of looking across at the dance hall has decided to join in. The two bond and form a friendship that is unusual but touching. As the pair begin to open up to one another it is not only their dance skills that begin to flourish.
Both Blount and Moran play multiple rôles, interchanging flawlessly between their characters. The wide array of characters paints a colourful picture of the personalities within the dance hall and keeps the audience chuckling consistently throughout. It is in this flawless interchange that the script choices become clear. Four writers seems a lot for one play, but this ensemble manage to many different strands of individuality, which heightens the likeability, and also the reality of the characters. Moran and Blount have an amazing onstage chemistry and their comedic timing is second to none. There are tender, severe and also hilarious moments to the script but even with this array of emotions and the fast pace of the action it never seems unbalanced.
The sound and lighting design (Ivan Birthistle and Mark Galione) assist the multiple character changes clearly denoting changes to character, time and tone. The underlying musical theme pulls the production together and maintains a consistency that is important in such a busy performance. The dancing is far from professional but it feels organic and wholesome. What truly makes this production such a success it is focus on representing the minutiae of real emotions in its characters.
Charming, lively and not to missed, Swing is pure feel-good theatre.
Photo by Sally-Ann Kelly. Runs until 21st June.