Theatre review: Futureproof, Everyman, Cork (Midsummer Festival)

****

The Irish premiere of this curious, entertaining, and thought-provoking play by Cork-born writer, Lynda Radley, takes a while to gain momentum.

But, in a way, this is appropriate, as the play is about a bunch of world-weary so-called freaks who are on their last legs, as members of Riley’s travelling Odditorium. The freaks comprise conjoined twins, the world’s fattest man, a mermaid, a bearded, armless lady and a hermaphrodite.

In this timeless play, astutely directed by Tom Creed, issues about bodily autonomy are raised, as the desperate and ruthless Riley demands that the cast of his tawdry show reinvents itself — a very contemporary theme, in an age of makeovers and competitive cosmetic surgery.

As the ringmaster informs his players, who have pitched up in some nameless town, they were “once seen as God’s marvels, not God’s mistakes.” No longer able to attract an audience, Riley speaks of offering something “authentic” to audiences. But he is blind to the very essence of his cast. He just sees them as playthings to be marketed to prurient audiences.

Seeking change involves the surgeon’s scalpel in some cases. Is Riley that unscrupulous? Go and see how far a financially-strapped showbiz boss pushes his selfish agenda.

  • Until June 24. And at the Project Arts Centre, in Dublin, from June 27-July 1.


© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Director Doug Liman flying high with new movie

A Question of Taste: Dave McLoughlin

Same recipe, different channel for The Great British Bake Off

GameTech: Uncharted territory looks very familiar


Lifestyle

GameTech: Uncharted territory looks very familiar

Detroit's racist themes are sadly relevant to this day

#Hashtag10: Important Irish hashtags of the last 10 years

Friendship is taken as read when you're part of a book club

More From The Irish Examiner