The New Theatre
Until 15 April
Escape and escapism. Junk and junkies. All That We Found Here is a play that deals with harsh themes of drugs, crime and the trappings of the class system. It does not aim to shock, however – its aim is to reflect on the societal injustices that plainly exist but are too obvious to clearly see.
This jarring full-length debut play, written and produced by Donagh Humphreys, is for the student, the philosophiser, and the junkie. It is an unexpected play. A play that begins with a whacky but effective electronic dance scene, depicting the coke-fuelled party scene of the nouveau-riche. From there it evolves into an engaging and quick-witted social commentary. Set in a mansion on Ailesbury Road, it offers a take on contemporary Ireland and an insight into how ‘both halves live’. The characters we encounter are abiding by unwritten laws, operating within and simultaneously cementing distinct, opposing social realities.
The script pays the audience the complement of their own intelligence, delivering social critique and philosophy alongside humour, even in the darkest scenes. The cast powerfully deliver the 75 minute performance with no interval, their acting aided by creative sound and lighting effects for the more physical and violent scenes. Sophia, played by Toni O’Rourke, is a tragically ‘woke’ rich girl and champagne socialist. Her character is juxtaposed with Si, a college dropout and the son of a junkie, played by the endearing Shane O’Regan. Are they victims of their own choices, or victims of the system they are trapped in?
The play is much bigger than the plot itself. Some scenes are about as comfortable to watch as sitting on a chaise-longue – an ornamental prop used throughout – but that is all part of the thrill. This is a must-see for students, a play that makes you go “ahh, somebody said it!”
All That We Found Here is showing at The New Theatre, Temple Bar until Sat 15 April 2017. Tickets can be booked in advance at thenewtheatre.com