Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Diaries of Adam And Eve
Watergate Theatre Kilkenny
Dyad Productions

There must be very few of us unfamiliar or at least unaware of the Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) book of the title page. It’s a great bit of satire and should be read at least once. It has also been put on the stage a good many times.  I saw that it was appearing at my local theatre The Watergate for one night and was a production by the very talented Dyad Productions, whom I’d recently seen perform a version of Queen Elizabeth 1st. That was penned and performed by co founder Rebecca Vaughan.  A performance and evening’s entertainment that was as great as I’d hoped and also created an interest in QE1 that hadn’t existed before.

So I was pleased to have an opportunity to see them again so soon. The only thing that bothered me was the play. It was written in an era when the accepted attitude and clichés about men and women were very different to now. It was written over a century ago in fact.  I felt that, unlike plays such as an Oscar Wilde, the humour maybe wouldn't be quite as transferable or less oblique. Let’s face it, it’s not that long ago when people were able to laugh at Lenny Henry,(under duress in this case)  but at the Jubilee celebrations we all felt embarrassed to have to listen to him. However  I was quietly confident  and cautiously optimistic that as it was Dyad and not a lesser theatre production company, that it would all work out well.

I wasn't entirely wrong and they certainly made an entertaining duo on stage. Elton Townend Jones was excellent, his facial expressions were brilliantly executed to maximum comedic effect and Rebecca Vaughan was clearly having a great time in a role that was less intense and more frivolous than her Queen Elizabeth one. As an aside she looked considerably more attractive too, so much so that I was tempted to holler at Adam to stop being a pillock and go sort her out.

They were an excellent act, but the thing began to irk me after about thirty minutes. I’d got the joke by then and there was nowhere else for it to go. Adam is a bit gruff and oblivious, clichéd male and Eve is a bit clever and cliche girly. That’s it.  I became more interested in’ hair twirling girly’ sat in front of me as she moved farther and farther away from her boyfriend  without actually moving seats. It was as if she built an invisible wall, brick by imaginary brick, with a broken glass top, yet he seemed not to notice at all.  Then as the lights came on she was up and gone like a greyhound, leaving him behind. Most impressive.

But back to the play. The humour was probably still ok in the 1970’s but I found it a bit naff in this day and age and then, as if somewhere down the line as they were  putting it together . Someone pointed this out and they decided to add ‘poignancy’. Ye gods it bored my tits off and ruined it pointlessly.  It became a good ten minutes of tedium at the end which left me and the other members of the audience flat. That was a disappointment. Saturday eve at the theatre shouldn't do that. It should leave an emotion that is relevant to the chosen entertainment, but never flat.

So, for acting skill go see it, for support of boundary pushing theatre groups and production companies, also go see it. They cannot always pull it off entirely, but should be applauded for trying. But as a play? I really wish they had put their skills and efforts into something else.

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