Writers: Shane Nestor, Mike Foott &Michael Hartnett.
Director: Shane Nestor
Reviewer: Clara Mallon.
Acting Up’s new play The Last Ride comes to the Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square. Presenting a multitude of strange encounters on a train ride from Dublin to Cork, the audience are taken on a bumpy, but certainly never boring, journey. In the tone of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the production’s protagonist Doctor Michael (Eunan McLoughlin), begins his surreal yet comedic journey on St. Stephens Day. Reminiscing on the mistakes of his life, delving into his past, present, and future, the ghosts of this train are represented by twenty four characters, including some doubles. Although this ghostly ride on the claustrophobic Teachers Club stage seems a little overloaded, the cast manages to maintain a high level of energy throughout.
The production gets off to a rocky start, beginning forty minutes late. The show misses some technical cues and as a result parts of dialogue are allowed to fall flat. Despite these moments of turbulence the cast engage the audience in their narrative from beginning to end. Combining themes of redemption, love and the renewal of identity, the production has a lot to say within its short sixty minute run time.
Amateur dramatics, although not as finely tuned as their professional production counterparts, often offer fun unpredictable and enlightening experiences. This is certainly the impression that remains upon leaving Acting Up’s new piece. Although not without its flaws, the energy of all involved encourages an atmosphere of light-hearted positivity. The Last Ride presents audiences with an enjoyable and endearingly fun journey, compounded by its festive tone and cheer.
Photo courtesy of Act Up! Runs until December 13th