Billed as – A Royal Flush of Comedy – the forth outing in a theatre space of the very ambitious arts and theatre group PushPull Productions – Full House nearly had a capacity audience for five pieces of new work. Once again, I was impressed by a lot of the work some of it over long but always striving to be funny and original with minimum props, little scenery and black tabs and not enough sound effects.
Comedy is generational and often appeals to specific age groups and I accept I am a dinosaur to this generation. I would like to be a kindly dinosaur and I do like purple but listening to the audience and their sporadic reaction told me that the belly laughs are for swear words, laddish remarks and toilet jokes in a toilet.
Some of these young writers probably want to write for television and film rather than radio or theatre and that indecision is evident in their technique or lack of it. Alan Cliff wrote and directed Kebab Philosophy, two drunks, two kebabs lasting 19 minutes. Pat O’Connor was a passable drunk and Dean Flynn has the best line about kissing an ugly man – mouth to mouth with a buffalo. Cliff managed to name check the new bridge and he is the most likely of the five to persist and produce fine theatre.
Jamie Flynn with Flush, set in a two-cubicle toilet is in my opinion an exceptional talent for situation comedy. He is funky, funny and fresh and in an overlong two-hander got the best laughs of the evening. His business man conman self-help guru William Shagner (my generation) gave Shane Flynn the opportunity to shine and show his comedic chops with his trousers down at his ankles.
Darren Malone is a natural comedian and his Joe Soap and max Capacity characters were the hit of the evening.
Dean Sullivan, has lots of talent as a comedy writer, a stand-up and an impressive actor. He wrote and starred in an overlong but audacious The Man Who Owned Waterford.
Anita O’Keeffe and Caz Butler Kelly were humourous foils to his outrageous and the audience cheered lines like – “It’s great being rich.”
Push Pull ran a script competition and they put on two of those to close the evening.
I loved the girly clichés of Caz Butler Kelly’s 3 Girls and a Shopping Rail. It was short, sassy and bitchy and the author has style.
Kyle McSporran is apparently a 21 year old London based actor, and this debut script 10% didn’t work but Brian Coady and Jane Clancy worked hard to impress but it needs a lift to sustain the end effect just as 3 Girls needs better clothes on the Shopping Rail.
Push Pull deserve support and finding and they tell me they are working in daytime jobs and self-support their ambitions.
I know the Arts office and Waterford City Library assist them but they need more to keep such fresh talent. Well done to Garter Lane for giving them a holiday weekend slot.