BWW Review: THESE STUPID THINGS - A Sensitive Study of Love & Medicine at Smock Theatre Alley
These Stupid Things -
A Sensitive Study of Love and Medicine
One of the highlights of Dublin's bustling summer calendar is the Festival of Curiosity, an annual international festival celebrating 4 days of science, art, design, and technology.
Playwright Hugh Travers has created a poignant tale of love from its tender conception, following the journey through its joys and challenges. Two young and earnest medical students coincidentally meet several years after their initial introduction. A spark ignites and before moving forward they make a curious decision to predict their futures: together and apart...
This charming production captured our imaginations and held us fast as the tides of love ebbed and flowed. Rachel O'Byrne and Ian Toner both give superb performances and are completely convincing as medical doctors. Consummate actors with a litany of theatre, film and TV credits, O'Byrne and Toner were a delightful match for this intelligent and moving play.
In addition to their flourishing medical careers, they also host seminars for their medical peers teaching them the science behind the art of decision-making, thus encouraging them to make more accurate diagnoses. They break the fourth wall, engaging the audience in simple but thought-provoking exercises to reveal some of the oddities around how humans make choices. Do we use our heads or our hearts? The answers are illuminating.
Smock Alley's thrust stage provided a perfect base for Sarah Foley's minimalist set, a series of raised and gently sloping stationary platforms representing various locations. Bill Woodland's lighting design was in perfect harmony with the various moods of the play, deftly shifting from stark and intense to tender and wistful.
Director Sarah Baxter has done a superb job of bringing to life Travers' gripping script. I appreciated her subtle direction where the audience gleaned as much from the dialogue as they did from the charged glances and pregnant pauses.
You have one more night to attend this little treasure and I sincerely hope that this production will continue its life beyond the Festival of Curiosity.