It’s amazing how much a skyline can say. Here at the Dublin docklands, the streets are outlined by stretched-out cranes and new high-rises; the signs of a district under reconstruction. Many of these sites have been vacant since the property bubble spurred a financial crisis nearly a decade ago. Finally on the cusp of change, are we any the wiser?
Within one of the remaining threadbare warehouses, you’ll find Loosysmoke’s thrilling new circus production. A collaboration between Elaine McCague, Jonah McGreevy and the company, this is a haunting look at a house in collapse. You’d be tempted to read it as a state of the nation polemic.
Shadowy acrobats come into focus against images of threatening clouds. The scene suddenly exchanges the surreal for the domestic, a grey sky hardening into gaudy wallpaper. The three women descend for a number of death-defying routines. (In this dark and concrete venue, you won’t get a chance to do a health and safety audit before your heart leaps out of your chest).
The ground, it turns out, is as precarious as the air. Deirdre Griffin dances around nails and plywood en pointe, like a demented ballerina. When McGreevy’s ominous man arrives and literally binds the women to the machinery of the production, it seems a menacing metaphor for the Irish Constitution and its destining of women to the homestead. Bodies are flung into anxieties that surround this social history. On the rope, McCague weaves herself into entrancing arabesques, evoking the sad warp of women’s lives before star-dropping to the floor.
Through impressive design and acrobatics this world will actually collapse, providing a dazzling spectacle for the Dublin Fringe. But in terms of mining the pains of the past, this concept is worn as surprising thin. The routines will keep you in suspense but they don’t really say anything new.
Raven Eyed is on until September 23rd, as part of the Dublin Fringe. Book tickets here.