Dublin Fringe Festival: The Games People Play

The Games People Play at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

The Games People Play at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Meet Oisin and Niamh: married in their early thirties, parents of a young son and daughter, struggling to pay for groceries and knee deep in negative equity for their Drumcondra abode. Gavin Kostick’s The Games People Play is both a timeless story about two people lost inside a marriage, and a very contemporary Irish horror story of debt, desire and emigration. The drama revolves around an overpriced games set from Argos – pool table, foosball, chess and about 40 other leisure activities – that Oisin is constructing in advance of his son Oscar’s birthday party. As he puts the finishing touches on it, a discussion with Niamh over white wine on everything from their honeymoon and sex life to the menu for the next day’s birthday party turns into an existential conversation on their future together.

Kostick has crafted a slow-burning, riveting snapshot of a middle-class marriage on the brink here, and Quinn and McAnally have the required chemistry for the production to pack a real punch. The pressures of mortgage and unemployment twist tighter on both characters until they reach a metaphorical fork in the road - fight or flight? - that they let hang on a game of chance. Quinn is especially strong as Niamh; her siren-like warning at the play’s end to her husband contemplating a new life in Birmingham cuts right to the bone.

Star rating: ★★★★

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Dublin Fringe Festival: The Games People Play by Rise Productions

18-20 September, 2013

Produced by Rise Productions
In The New Theatre

Written by Gavin Kostick
Cast: Lorna Quinn, Aonghus Óg McAnally