BWW Review: DUBLIN WILL SHOW YOU HOW at The Complex, Smithfield
Shedding Light on Darkness
The Complex warehouse in Smithfield, frigid, starkly lit and rigged with tenement flats at opposing ends with the audience seated on the long axes sandwiching the stage. We are shivering despite the generously provided blankets.
As the harrowing stories unravel the temperature plummets further. Writer Tracy Martin, Director and Producer Vanessa Fielding and Producer Phil Kingston give us a brutally honest glimpse into life at the extreme depths of poverty in Dublin.
Broken mothers. A beloved son fallen from grace. Another heading down the same slippery slope. A baby too cold and hungry to even whimper. A newlywed wafting through a living nightmare. A bright student, a frozen shadow of her former self.
The daily struggle to make ends meet. Providing for one's family too often through ill-gotten means. Money out exceeding money in. Potentially lethal in this domain. Daily goal: don't die.
An unspoken hierarchy. Male dominance and coercive control. Addiction. Turn the other way. Don't see, don't tell. Yet even in the darkest hour, a flame of solidarity exists amongst the women.
Bravo to the superb cast who made us squirm in our seats. Their honest and respectful rendition of heinous and desperate characters was appreciated. Sincere thanks to those who shared their stories, the unnamed many. And to those who listened. Dublin Will Show You How intends to shed light on the darkness, breaking the seemingly inescapable cycle.
This play should be a bitter pill to swallow. This is not a woebegone parallel universe but our harsh reality. Fellow humans living amongst us. Read. Understand. Be aware. Care.
An Abbey Theatre and The Complex co-production, Dublin Will Show You How will run at The Complex until 13 April 2019