Last few days of unfringed events. While the festival appears to be scaled back on previous years, there has been some memorable performances. John Breen's "The Magic Boy" premiered on Friday night and it was a really clever piece which with its recalling of early 1980's Ireland had a particular resonance for any audience today. The use of magic and crowd interaction help to break long monologues and frame the piece. The story of how the upcoming magicians went to great rounds to secure a slot on the Late Late show seemed worlds away from contemporary unsigned acts with elaborate PR schemes and multi pronged cyber strategies.
The 1980s also featured in one of the five pieces put together by Bottom Dog as part of their 'Off the Wall' production in Limerick City Art Gallery. Here a number of art works from the Gallery's permanant collection were chosen as inspiration for short performances of about 10 to 15 minutes in duration. Video, mime, monologues and song were used by the five different writers. I found the Mike Finn piece which set itself in Gaza to be the strongest and I suppose closest in tenor and delivery to the original Bottom Dog (a weekly working class paper with attitude printed in Limerick in 1919). Our own Bottom dog is now officially retired.
If you are going to any of the events over the weekend, Ciaran has some recommendations here or you can hear festival director Joanna Beirne talk about the festival here.