Cutting Edge award for Limerick theatre company

A fragment of this inventive sequence of drama
A fragment of this inventive sequence of drama

FIRST nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award 2015 for Best Set Design, ‘Waiting in Line’ by Honest Arts merited the Cutting Edge Artist Award at the ongoing Toronto Fringe Festival 2015.

Honest Arts directors Tara Doolan and Pius McGrath created and platformed the social realism/ digital piece through Limerick City of Culture at John’s  Square last year. It went on to sell out at Galway Theatre Festival and will return to Limerick audiences late in September .

According to Doolan, ‘Waiting in Line’ is “a social commentary on the ‘social welfare culture’ that has been created in Ireland over the past 25 years”.

Yet as an audience member and to hear McGrath speak of their approach to said culture, it’s not a piece driven by judgement or bias. Consider a fast forward through parallel lives of those on the dole or driven to it; or not driven from it half fast enough. Pitched for those over 14s, this is a wide-lens look at the Tiger economy reduced to whimper.

Pius McGrath Photo: Mario Beck
Pius McGrath
Photo: Mario Beck

No mercy is spared but for all the fears and diminishing or careless behaviour exhibited, this is a fun night out with the human being at centre. Income is not everything.

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‘Virtual’ effects such as a steaming kettle, disco light show and dreary, threatening dole office dress the plain backdrop brilliantly. Set and scene changes are instant, colourful and fully transformative.

The demands on McGrath as actor are considerable, as with Johanna O’Brien and Eva O’Connor in ever changing personae with continuous storylines.

Full marks to freelance Mario Beck for Set Design, Barry Hehir on Lighting and Sound by Alan Dormer. Mike Finn and Tara Doolan control the action.

The company manifesto says they “combine Artistry and the latest in 3D mapping technology in this fast paced, thought provoking, physical theatre piece.

“Our purpose is to tell original contemporary Irish stories with a universal message. It is important to showcase ‘Waiting in Line’ so that we can continue to lead the way in these technological developments in theatre and showcase our modern creative capabilities and culture.”