Saturday, May 09, 2009

Waiting For Ikea

Is all Dublin drama sweary? Two out of two that I’ve seen this year have been. And they’ve both been lunchtime plays. There’s something very unnatural about lots of swearing at lunchtime. If you turn on Channel 4 after ten o’clock (an hour after the UK TV watershed begins) then you half expect to find the odd F - and nowadays the occasional C - floating out towards your eardrums. But at lunchtime, it’s different.

Performing at the Out to Lunch festival in January, comedienne Shappi Khorsandi stopped at one point mid-joke to reconsider how she’d phrase something for a lunchtime audience. Society seems to adopt different rules at different times of the day.

Waiting for Ikea - play - Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

Waiting for Ikea was written and performed by Georgina McKevitt and Jacinta Sheerin. It wowed the Dublin Fringe Festival back in 2007, and was sold out as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in the Black Box on Tuesday lunchtime.

Chrissie and Jade were childhood friends. They shared their big life experiences with each other: practicing dance routines and doing pregnancy tests together,

Chrissie: “Are they the same pyjamas you were wearing yesterday?”

Jade: “No ... (pause) … I’ve got two pairs of these.”

Years later, still living in Pimlico, they are to Dublin what Millies are to Belfast: pyjamas are for living in! Community is tight and gossipy. Friendship involves as much crying and falling out as hugging and making up. Boyfriends can be recycled. There’s a lot of sitting, standing and talking in the street.

As one online review phrased it:

The Celtic tiger has been and gone and they never even stroked it.

But behind the friendship, there is pain. As a young mother, Chrissie needed help with baby Dean. And Jade dropped her plans for college and became a second parent. Eight year’s later, Jade still gives Chrissie’s son a goodnight kiss each evening, and has a better understanding of Dean’s problems and life than his mother. But it’s time for Jade to flee the nest she unexpectedly became trapped in. Time to live life for herself.

Waiting for Ikea - play - Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

Waiting for Ikea is well named, in that you will spend much of the performance waiting for Ikea to be mentioned. It’s not a central plot point - but it must help tempt the audience to buy tickets to see the show!

With flashbacks and some rather professionally produced amateur video footage, the audience explore the friendship and the imminent transition. There’s a lot of humour. A lot of earthy language. And insights into sun beds, first communion and Dublin community that made for a lunchtime experience that won’t quickly be forgotten.

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