Absolut Fringe 2012: BRB (Be Right Back)

Waterdonkey's BRB (BE RIGHT BACK) as part of ABSOLUT Fringe

Waterdonkey's BRB (BE RIGHT BACK) as part of ABSOLUT Fringe

This brief play gets off to a promising start as the three characters begin to emulate a young
woman in a YouTube clip as she demonstrates, in tutorial-like fashion on a big screen set
against the back wall of the space, the self-application of multiple coatings of make-up.
Layer after layer, her face is cosmetically transformed to a point where what is beautiful
becomes at once quite theatrically grotesque. The effect is quite mesmerising, and as our
two live characters kneel before us to wash themselves back to themselves, Fionnuala Gygax
gives a sultry centre-stage performance of Melody Gardot’s Love me like a river does,
adding to the overall sense of a possible cathartic experience about to happen.

Unfortunately, it never does. We don’t, for example, ride white horses across the
Cybersurface (although we do watch a rather long clip of a galloping black horse in slow
motion), nor do we happen to play in multiple spaces in more than one place at once, as
promised. What does happen is somewhat trifling, leaving us to scramble for meaning in the
sundry of moments that make up this 50 minute play: unfinished stories, the shell of a legend,
a couple of seconds of a one-way Skype conversation, minimal exchanges about love and
leaving, and general long silences set to the sound of bird song. With less wish-wash and
obscurity, this piece could have made for an interesting insight into the virtual realms of the
world in which we live.

Star rating: ★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Absolut Fringe 2012: BRB (Be Right Back) by Waterdonkey

18-22 Sept 2012

Produced by Waterdonkey
In Smock Alley Theatre

With John Rogers, Fionnuala Gygax and Zita Monahan

Directed by Meadhbh Haicéid

Lights by Emma O’Grady