DramSoc Review / Penguins Go For Free


John Gallagher is left laughing as he reviews another Dramsoc success.

ONCE MORE Dramsoc has failed to disappoint and ticks all the boxes with their performance of Penguins Go For Free, a play by UCD student, Ciaran Ó Murchú. From the opening scene it is evident that this is not a play for the faint hearted. With its strong language and offensive stereotypes not everyone will have left the theatre feeling quite so refreshed as myself. Nonetheless, those of us with even the most minuscule funny bone found this comedy truly enjoyable and applaudable.

This is one of those types of humour that cannot really be explained until you see it for yourself. Perhaps if Pat Shortt were to write a play about a certain type of Northsider in this recessional time he would come up with something similar to the characters Anto (Marcus O’Learaoire) and Tomo (Stuart Pollock). Just like a D’Unbelievables classic, the cast play off each other to great effect, whilst interacting with the crowd and ensuring that attention does not drift from the stage for even a moment.

Laura Lenihen must be noted for her interpretation of Jacinta the penguin. She effortlessly transformed herself into the friendly animal, using very few words but much telling facial expression. Equally Sadbh Feeney must be applauded for, in the blink of an eye, transforming herself from a Northside mother to a light-headed D4 zoo keeper. Conor Barry should also be noted for his role as local mobster, John McDonald. He added a quirky element to the performance with his occasional spaghetti-legged foot movement.

One cannot go without mentioning the comedic references to current affairs such as the Anglo Irish Bank scandal and the Wibbly Wobbly Wonder (or lack thereof). Ó Murchú’s wit was not only present in his references to issues such as those mentioned, but also in the brief but beefy dialogue. Every sentence and every action rolled fl uidly into one another. Director Jon Honzier-Byrne must also be appraised for the job he did in exercising his cast, while the simplistic set allowed the audience to appreciate the acting capabilities of the actors onstage.

Ultimately, this is as good a tonic as any in a time when all we seem to hear about are job cuts, drug problems and gangland killings. It is not that Dramsoc has undermined the importance of these issues; it is that they have allowed us to take a break from the harsh realities of the situation at present and see the funnier side of things. Perhaps Dramsoc hold the answer, maybe they have the power to relight the fi re and get the economy moving in the right direction!