Absolut Fringe 2012: BYPASS

Painted Filly Theatre's BYPASS by Jesse Weaver as part of ABSOLUT Fringe

Painted Filly Theatre's BYPASS by Jesse Weaver as part of ABSOLUT Fringe

Imagine a world where all the honeybees and earthworms are dead.  Now imagine the last five remaining people (or rather ‘Hibernonauts’), barefooted in white overalls, playing out a series of domestic “rituals”- the doctor, the dentist, the salesman - with deliberately forced facades, as they await their final annihilation on ‘Sunflower Estates Six’ a trillion miles from a long extinct planet, millenniums ahead of the present.  Never fear, Jesse Weaver’s new play does all that for us.
With Beckettian-like minimalism, using nothing but a teacup, a toaster, an umbrella and a watering can, we are brought on a lengthy and at times impenetrable passage of narrative that demands much of its pitch-perfect performers.  The play’s prologue made for an exhilarating start to the experience and involved a half-human, half-computer woman in a grey suit addressing us in the foyer.  We follow her perfunctory stride, with admitted trepidation, onboard the “ship”, where a selection of everyday “archival” exhibits hang eerily from metal beams in clear plastic bags; a gun, a laptop, a child’s teddy bear.  The sense of our present generation, destructive yet innocent, now lost and bagged, is quite affecting at first.  Unfortunately the affect gradually wanes as the piece struggles to maintain the focus of the audience in this stark and whitewashed environment.  Albeit a valiant and enthralling concept with exceptional use of space and light, its length and verbosity debilitates the overall impression. The end is nigh, but it seems to take forever.

Star rating: ★★★

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Absolut Fringe 2012: BYPASS by Painted Filly Theatre

11-15 Sept 2012

Produced by Painted Filly Theatre
In Block T

Written by Jesse Weaver
With Simon Ashe-Browne, Nathan Gordon, Breffni Holahan, Catríona Lynch and Crissy O’Donovan
Directed by Nick Johnson and Jesse Weaver
Lighting by Katherine Graham
Sound by Paul Harnett
Produced by Jennifer Killelea
Set by Colm McNally