Dublin Fringe Festival: Some Baffling Monster

Dick Walsh's Some Baffling Monster at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Dick Walsh's Some Baffling Monster at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

At the root of Some Baffling Monster is the story of a family feud, one so common it verges on cliché; the old man, the family farm and the offspring – one man worthy, the other to be viewed with suspicion.  Writer Dick Walsh embraces the cliché and runs with it in an extremely stylised black comedy that relies heavily on its absurdity in its efforts to entertain.

The play opens with Jacob relaying the news of one of their cow’s unfortunate and mysterious demise to his Grandpa.  This story sets in motion a series of events which culminates in the final battle over the old man’s will.  Jacob is solemn and deadpan as he is coaxed to deliver the tale repeatedly by the somewhat deranged elder – a scene which sets us up for the rest of the play, in which anecdote leads into anecdote and fable is followed by fable.  Although the style is clearly a nod to the Irish tendency to wax lyrical, it does begin to grate on the nerves over the 75 minutes as does the absurd characterisations which range quite drastically from crazed to catatonic.

As the play meanders along towards its less than inspiring ending, one gets the feeling that the cast are entertaining themselves more than anyone else with regular slips in character and many a shared grin.  Some Baffling Monster may be in need of further rehearsal and editing but as it stands it is just that, a tad baffling.  
Star rating: ★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Dublin Fringe Festival: Some Baffling Monster by Dick Walsh

17-21 September 2013

Produced by Dick Walsh
In The International Bar