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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Keeping the magic alive...

How many of you clicked in thinking that this would be some sort of romantic blog about ways to maintain a fresh and frisky relationship? Clearly I'm not an expert on that kind of thing but I am somewhat obsessed with the world of... Harry Potter!! This week, there is a fantastic show at the Gaiety Theatre called Potted Potter - The Unauthorised Harry Experience. I wasn't really sure what to expect but myself and my friend Ruth went to see every one of the movies together so we decided to give it go.

And how happy I was that we did! From start to finish, I was pretty much moved to tears of laughter. For the Harry Potter nerd in me, there were plenty of in-jokes along with some interesting observations and opinions that might have spoiled the story for anyone who might not have read the books or seen the movies. The costumes are minimal, the set looks like it's been designed with cheap, second-hand pieces and there are hardly any special effects (apart from a very dangerous dragon in book 4 and a disco ball in book 7). None of that makes any difference however, as the 2 lads don wigs, adopt silly accents and use a wide variety of inventive props in order to convey the entire Harry Potter series (that I spent approximately 4 years reading) in under an hour and a half. It missed a lot of the important points in the stories but made up for it with audience participation in a truly magical game of Quidditch and with a fantastic finale song.

Another aspect that really resonated with me (and this may have just been the night I was there) but there were several moments where there was a spontaneous ad lib that lent a much more relaxed feel to what is clearly a highly rehearsed show. A great night for all the family, it's running until Sunday at the Gaiety, before moving down to Cork and Galway. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook to find out future dates if you can't make these. Or try Apparating to Hong Kong in September for the next run... Can't believe I nearly got through the whole thing without a spell-related joke!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A show not to be missed!

OK, I might be somewhat biased as it is my wonderful friends in the Glencullen/Dundrum Musical and Drama Society that are putting this on but there are only 3 nights left to catch their current performance of Plaza Suite, a play written by Neil Simon. I had read the script for the show and knew it was going to be great but it is all the more hilarious when performed onstage.

Brendan Phelan has done a great job directing this play; it is a comedy in 3 acts, with 3 very different stories, all related to romantic relationships, set in Suite 719 at the Plaza Hotel. First we see a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary; or possibly not as they cannot agree on the day (or year even) that they got married. Next we have a big shot Hollywood producer who returns to the east coast to look up his childhood sweetheart for a 'catch up' and finally a frustrated mother and father who are trying to convince their daughter to come out from the bathroom she has locked herself in to marry the (supposed) man of her dreams.

For those of you who have been to any of our shows before, you will see a lot of familiar faces. For most of these actors, I think these roles are some of the best that I have seen them in. Each cast member works so well with their opposite in each act; even the smaller support roles are brilliantly cast. For me personally the show was stolen by Tom Ronayne; this might be my favourite role that I have seen him undertake. Not to mention the ever present and divine Garrett Grimes; only on stage for about 1 minute and 45 seconds and he brought the house down.

A couple of tense moments wedged between a truckload of belly laughs, this is the perfect show to lift your spirits should you require it, but a great night out even if you are already feeling good. With tickets costing only €15 (concessions available also), you should definitely get booking via the Mill Theatre and get down there before it finishes on Saturday night - you will not regret it!