Absolut Fringe 2012: SAINT

Fíbín Teo's SAINT as part of ABSOLUT Fringe

Fíbín Teo's SAINT as part of ABSOLUT Fringe

The last few years have, quite rightly, borne witness to a deluge of theatre productions
endeavouring to interrogate the state of the country. Yes there is a story to be told and an audience
to listen, but there is also the fear of saturation with the same topics – corruption, austerity,
unemployment – finding their way to centre stage time and again. Thus it is a relief to discover
that Fíbín Teo’s dramatisation of Ireland’s economic misfortune manages to break the mould of
recession theatre by addressing the matter through farce, puppetry, a fantastic live soundscape and
a hefty dose of slapstick humour.

Although this production is as gaeilge, those without the cúpla focal ought not to shirk away
as the Irish, not unlike the message, is simple. Rural Ireland is depicted in cardboard cut-out
splendour; the roughly drawn thatched cottage in the background and the down at heel Bean an Tí
more reminiscent of The Quiet Man than pre-Celtic Tiger days. However, it is in these outlandish
characterisations that Saint succeeds – the portly politician come contractor character no more
subtle than the lyrics of “We’re on the Road to Nowhere” ringing out in the background. In a series
of rapid transitions we witness this simple countrywoman be overcome by greed and coerced to
develop her land by the ruddy-faced villain with sacks of money.

Saint is not a measured reflection on the banking crisis – rather it is a brash, bold and hugely
simplified version of events which turns out to be as illuminating as it is entertaining.

Star rating: ★★★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Absolut Fringe 2012: SAINT by Fíbín Teo

19-22 Sept 2012

Produced by Fíbín Teo
In Project Arts Centre

Featuring:  Rod Goodall and Maggie Sullivan. 

Director: Rod Goodall

Designed by Dara McGee