Dublin Fringe Festival: Distance From the Event

"Distance From the Event" by Collapsing Horse at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Mysteries need to be sufficiently mysterious in order to be confounding, and a strange science fiction environment needs to be, paradoxically, familiar enough within our own ability to accept different forms and functions. In Collapsing Horse’s latest venture, the mystery allows two wise-cracking detectives to provide our grounding, as they try to bust an unctuous gangster who seems to be using the arts to launder money.
The mystery aspect of the production is thwarted by the use of women’s intuition, and a haunting dream, as the impetus for the investigation — and the lady detective is not wrong, but with so much exposition to get out of the way, and so much for the audience to take on faith, Quinn’s text runs out of time, and everything is made clear not because the detectives solve the mystery, but because one of the characters tells us the whole story.
Quinn does better with his sci-fi world, which is clever, and is has been produced with sophistication: McNally’s set is comprised of four wheeled panels that are moved by the cast to mold the space onstage, and Shiels lighting design is as excellent as ever. The atmosphere is aided by Bird’s sound, but often overwhelms the actor’s speech. The flow of scenes is well done, via Colley’s direction, but all the activity can’t quite hide the fact that the pace of the story isn’t up to the pace of its staging, and that both worlds and their requisite narrative requirements aren't equally well developed.

Star rating: ★★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Dublin Fringe Festival: Distance From the Event by Collapsing Horse Theatre Company

7-21 September 2013

Produced by Collapsing Horse Theatre Company
In The Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin

By Eoghan Quinn
Directed by Dan Colley
Music and Sound Design by Simon Bird
Set Design by Colm McNally
Lighting Design Sarah Jane Sheils
Featuring John Cronin, Breffni Holahan, Emily Johnson, Jamie O’Neill, Karl Quinn.