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Review - DOUZE

Review by Lita Doolan for Remote Goat on August 10th 2017

Ireland’s entry for Eurovision takes centre stage to pick the song they will sing for Europe. Each song is written by the performers and has a fresh theme, echoing the eclectic energy of Eurovision.  

An outstandingly talented cast (Anthony Keigher, Tiffany Murphy and Hannah Fisher) go all out to be number 1, dramatizing the blood, sweat and tears involved in a pop career. They hold nothing back in their quest for stardom delivering a great night of entertainment with hilarious results. ‘The Penny Slots’ backing singers had me laughing so hard it hurt with their routines, making buffoonery look deceptively easy. Hannah Fisher’s choreography is daring, gripping and painfully funny.  

The cast don't try to sugar coat the mixed messages Eurovision sends out notably in the ‘Family’ song where X rated body moves are synched to lyrics about loving your relatives. You cannot fail to be sucked in to this glorious quest for pop stardom as more magic unfolds from the inspired onstage props. Umbrellas open up to reveal more gold sparkle highlighted by David Doyle’s evocative lighting design.  

This is not just a show about a song contest though. There are deeper ideas here beyond the dazzle and the disco moves. The gritty darkness behind the glitter is revealed in the harsh on stage dynamics between the pop band on stage in a clever post-modern Brechtian style. It's about who we are when we want something and how we express our true selves on the road to success; and the ugly side of this is seductively voyeuristic because there is something of us all in these persistent dream seekers.

With recent comments in the art media about how the wealthy are buying up creative industries it is heartening to see a dramatization of how playing to your strengths can take you to the top. This show inspires as a tribute to the power of purpose and the potential of now.

This one hour musical comedy says a lot about our media age and how to move forward at a time when traditional professions are on the decline and celebrity is now a social media industry.  

Costumes are reassuringly EU inspired until Xnthony pulls a star off the Euro flag. As Brexit moves closer the sheer strength of optimism contained in this show is going to become more needed. The boundless charisma of these deeply talented Artists have set this show on a collision course with cult status.

Unlike Brexit, popularity guides the way and the result is not written in stone. The winning song as voted for by the audience tonight is ‘Numbers’; a song that is still in my head a week later. This is a welcome distraction from real life EU politics. Unlike Brexit this audience pleasing work feels naturalistic, authentic and entertaining. My vote; a life-affirming, glitter-twizzling, show-stopping Douze points.

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