Dublin Fringe Festival: In Dog Years I'm Dead

In Dog Years I'm Dead by Mirari Productions at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

In Dog Years I'm Dead by Mirari Productions at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Turning thirty. For those about to, it can render them a quivering ball of existential neuroses. For those of us who have, we wonder what the hell everyone was on about. It would be easy to look at the indulgently nostalgic protagonists of Kate Heffernan’s new play and dismiss them cynically as over-grown children who should just quietly turn thirty and get on with it. But if this production says anything, it’s that people rarely feel like they’ve completely assumed adulthood, and most of us navigate the adult world feeling like utter fakes.

David (Robert Bannon) and Emily (Marie Ruane) are twenty-nine and are preparing for the inevitable entry into their fourth decade as human beings. Having met at a mutual friend’s thirtieth birthday, David pursues Emily via her blog where she counts down the thirty things she wants to accomplish before she turns the dreaded 3-0. Acting undercover as an anonymous commenter, David steers her towards ‘chance’ meetings with him in order to get to know her better.

Heffernan’s plot hews very well to the classic ‘boy meets girl’ story arc so beloved of rom coms. This isn’t a bad thing. In spite of its predictability, the plot, aided by Bannon’s and Ruane’s performances, keeps you engaged. Maisie Lee’s direction also keeps the action moving smoothly, and Stephen Dodd’s lighting design shifts us from location to location seamlessly. Musical director Tom Lane’s arrangements of hits from the early eighties, played with what sound like synthesized ukuleles, are an ironic delight.

Star rating: ★★★★

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Dublin Fringe Festival: In Dog Years I'm Dead by Mirari Productions

11-14 September, 2013

Produced by Mirari Productions
In The New Theatre

Cast: Marie Ruane and Rob Bannon.

Written by Kate Heffernan. 

Directed by Maisie Lee.

Produced by Camille Donegan

Lighting Design by Stephen Dodd

Set and costume design by Kate Heffernan

Musical Director and arranger - Tom Lane

Developed at FRINGE LAB with the support of Dublin Fringe Festival and supported by Fishamble: The New Play Company's New Play Clinic scheme.