Friday, February 02, 2018

Date Show - a tender (not Tinder) eavesdropping into dates in this site-specific work for The MAC (until 4 February)

Date Show takes over The MAC until 4 February and each performance brings a group of audience members on a walkabout through the building's public spaces as well as its less well known places to eavesdrop on a set of dates. The order of the encounters varies between groups, and even within groups, so it's a very personal journey into the broken and not so broken hearts that inhabit the building, tender but definitely not Tinder!

To tell you much about the detail of the individual mini-plays that pepper the 'menu' would be give away too much of the surprise. But you might find yourself crowded into the women's toilets in The MAC's basement (along with 20 others!) watching Josie (Mary Jordan) touch up her impeccable make-up and wonder why she has a gun in her handbag. That's John Patrick Higgin's' I Will Not Be Swiped. He's back in The MAC during EdgeFest in a few weeks time.

Eddie Velour is the self-help master of seduction "with the graphs to prove it". The in your face bravado and puntastic wordsmithing of L.O.V.E. will be familiar to anyone who witnessed Joe Nawaz's Brad Peelawn in Hey You!

The methods of storytelling are as varied as the situations that unfold. Sometimes the audience listen in on wireless headphones to the thoughts of a couple. Sophie Flight's Travel Through Time gives a tender glimpse into an older couple (Lynne Webber and Richard Palmer) adapting to Alzheimer's. For Jordan Hanna's Ben & Kathy, the inner thoughts of the blind daters appearing as surtitles above their heads, this truth shockingly yet humorously contrasting with the words they speak to one other. (The intensity of Aisling Groves-McKeown's 'eye acting' is a marvel to watch up close.)

The final La La Land-esque floaty dance number performed by Lizi Watt and Gerard Kelly hugs the MAC's first floor and staircase, weaving in some of the other characters and ending Date Show with happy hormones clearly buzzing through the enthusiastic audience.

Anna Leckey is this quarter's Artist in Residence at The MAC. Her vision for Three's Theatre Company and its mix of physical performance and theatre technology was demonstrated in August 2016 with her headphone-based Thinking About Thoughts.

Curating stories from nine writers, staging each innovatively and fitting them to the spaces, lifts and cupboards of the MAC, together with Colm G Doran's direction, Anna Leckey has created a rich yet light and flirty set of site-specific performances that showcase love in the run up to Valentine's Day.

Date Show's run in the MAC is mostly has totally sold out and finishes on Sunday 4 February. Hopefully the format and some of the stories will return.

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