DIRECTOR of Limerick Youth Theatre Angie Smalis approached Bottom Dog Theatre Company to contract as artistic director to this year’s summer show. Tonight Friday August 19, 8pm is our last chance to see the outcome: LYT’s original and truly theatrical delivery of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’.
It is mighty stuff.
Technically brilliant, the choreographed staging of oinks, squawks, hooves and squeals makes for a memorable telling of man and beasts’ ugly hierarchical treatment of power and each other.
Don’t blame the Ruskies for the failure of socialism. The shenanigans of Brexit and white supremacy are kicked to touch, literally, with raised flags and jodphur slapping, beer swilling thrills. Music power from relevant ballads by Pink Floyd and Bowie enhance the emotive, precise acting by Limerick talent who are clearly on the up and up.
As the annual end of year project for these LYT teenagers who engage in multi-skill classes for performance art outside of school hours, the play or musical platformed in a public venue – Belltable – works as showcase for skills learned individually and collectively.
Accents, musicality, lyrical props and musculature are techniques worked hard in this instance.
‘Animal Farm’ is adapted from Orwell’s novel by Ian Woolridge, a text that went down shouting when staged in the world of London theatre. Bottom Dog’s approach was to take the sole fee and split it between company founders John Anthony Murphy, Liam O’Brien and Myles Breen in their unique dynamic for moulding vibrant talent.
Murphy and Breen are briefly and effectively on stage as well as coaching behind Manor Farmhouse and O’Brien shines on technical and direction for this collaboration of comrades that gives it socks to a city bereft of theatre this summer. Bravo.