Dublin Fringe Festival: LAMBO

LAMBO by Underscore_Productions at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

LAMBO by Underscore_Productions at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Long before Miley Cyrus twerked the lines between tween star and pop tart, and before Justin Timberlake flashed Ms Jackson's boob at the Super Bowl (then hanging her out to dry in the uproar after), Gerry Ryan leapt from late night DJ to infamous broadcast legend by harnessing his machismo, killing and skinning a lamb.

Or did he? What was supposed to be an innocuous slot on RTÉ radio’s Gay Byrne Show, testing out the SAS Survival Handbook, became a national scandal twice over and acted as the harbinger of the proliferated rot of reality television. This barmy one-man show looks at the making of the modern celebrity with a mixture of rose-tinted glasses and dystopian beer goggles, using the questions raised by Gerry Ryan’s actions to probe the ethics of entertainment.

Director Ronan Phelan teases a bat-shit-bananas yet controlled performance from a revved up Michael Ford-Fitzgerald, who nails the theatrical flourishes of Ryan’s delivery. His dramatic emphasis works in the same way as the score in a horror movie, underlining the mood of the scenes; the excellent sound and lighting design helping his simple changes of tone and posture appear in high definition as he quickly mutates characters, while the story spins beyond Ryan’s control.

Travers’ script is lighthearted, without avoiding how this blurring of lines between entertainment and reality has impacted on national broadcasting today. It’s respectful without being reverent, and the combination of a surreal dream sequence and the almost Faustian ending highlighted the public’s role in a diluted news cycle.

Star rating: ★★★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Dublin Fringe Festival: LAMBO by Underscore_Productions

17-21 September 2013

Produced by Underscore_Productions
In The New Theatre