Numb: Two Plays Without Feeling (2001)

Numb: two plays without feeling (Oct 2001; Riverbank. Dublin Fringe, Sept)

We presented two new one-act plays from Wed 24th to Saturday 27th October in Riverbank. Together, they explored unusual strategies invented to deal with isolation and loneliness in contemporary society. They form part of a series of work exploring a style of theatre which tries to resist engaging the audience in a cathartic response. They are anti-sentimental in that they do not look primarily for emotional engagement, nor Brechtian intellectual engagement, but rather – almost exclusively – they look for imaginative engagement with the audience. For us, this means that neither the director nor actor interprets the work. They understand it, present it and the audience interprets it.

‘Bending Spoons’ by Peter Hussey and was short-listed for the Rough Magic seeds project earlier this year. It is a dark comedy set in what appears to be a rehabilitation institute but which turns out to be somewhere altogether different. Two men enact various roles exploring the changing nature of intimacy in a post-colonial world where everything must be saleable in order to have value. With Darren Donohue (Burke) and Nick Devlin (Nash). Directed by Peter Hussey and designed by CiarĂ¡n Aspell.

‘Our Lady of the Flowers’ also by Peter Hussey, is a monologue for one woman. It concerns an elderly nun who is trying to adapt to living in a small house in the community, having spent 50 years in a large convent. Today three things happen to her which bring unforeseen consequences into her life: She makes an attempt to escape. She remembers what she saw in her grandmother’s wardrobe 65 years ago. She has forgotten her name.