PuSh 2018: Dublin Oldschool

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Dublin Oldschool | PuSh International Performing Arts Festival | The Cultch Historic Theatre | January 30 – February 3, 2018

Two brothers, two mics, one crazy Dublin weekend. Playwright Emmet Kirwan plays Jason, a wannabe DJ, who is estranged from his brother Daniel (Ian Lloyd Anderson), a homeless junkie. During one drug-fueled weekend, Jason takes audiences on a journey through crack houses, raves, his love life, all the while seeing his doppelganger wherever he goes.

Poetic and full of the unique cadences of an Irish drawl, Kirwan’s script is delivered rapid-fire for most of the play. At times the tale is rapped, as times there are spoken word melodies, and sometimes the dialogue slows down so we can take in exactly what these two brothers are saying to each other. Their conversations range from nostalgic, to loving, to debating the morality of stealing out of necessity and the merits of selling one’s hair for much-needed cash.  

Anderson plays many other characters (22 in fact, but I would have never been able to keep count) including “Dave the Rave,” a sketchy drug dealer who seems to know everyone in the city. After losing his phone, wallet, and bike, Jason finally has a chance to DJ a party, but things never quite go according to plan. Bookended by a rap sequence, the show explores themes of time, family bonds, and overcoming addiction. Through all its gruesome tales of drug induced bad decisions, it offers some hope that there is still time to go back and mend what’s broken.  

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