By John Hartery
The 2012 Imagine Festival in Waterford got into full swing on Friday night. Excusing the pun, there is an imaginative range of acts and venues in week's the offering assembled by the committee that has something for everybody.
The Greyfriars building adjacent to the splendid Viking Triangle was the venue for The Dubliners Dilemma, a one-man show adapted and performed by Declan Gorman from Bachelors Walk Productions. The play is based on the Dubliners book of short stories by James Joyce. Gorman uses the letters between Joyce and his publisher Grant Richards as a device to perform vignettes from several of the stories from the masterpiece. The book was published in 1914 and the excellent programme notes tell us that it was rejected by fourteen publishers.
The sell-out performance was wonderful as Gorman delivered 25 to 30 characters from the book ranging from school kids to a Belfast solicitor. The range of nuanced Dublin accents was impressive and he captured the distinct areas of the city wonderfully. He brought great physicality and passion to the work and hugely enlivened the stories. Some of the correspondence between writer and publisher concerned Two Gallants and we learn how the social mores of the day halted printing of the book. My favourite story from the collection is the heart-breaking, Counterparts and using this story, Gorman was terrific as he vividly brought us on a pub crawl as the alcoholic clerk.
The set was by Eoghan Darcy and Edward Stevenson. The excellent sound was by Michael Gerrard.
At just over 50 minutes the show is great entertainment. Given only four or five stories were used there is surely much still to extract from the book by Gorman? The play is on tour throughout Ireland in 2012-2013. Highly recommended.
|Imagine (ative) Venue|
Venue note: The Greyfriars building was an excellent choice for this intimate event. It was great to see a building multi-tasking over the weekend as; an exhibition space, a museum, a theatre and a cinema. That is definitely sweating an asset and other publicly funded venues should take note.