Sex by the numbers
Let’s talk about sex. When two people love each other very much, and six months later the spark goes out of their relationship, they may be inclined to introduce something new: risk, acrobatic impulse, or, more predictably, another person. It’s common. In fact, in Mark Cantan’s rigorously calibrated new comedy for Rough Magic, it happens 2,834 times a day, a phenomenon as natural as the birds, the bees and another consenting party oblivious to emotional consequence. Then again, it isn’t always easy.
The same can be said about sex comedies, which – The Taming of the Shrew aside – have not always moved the earth for Rough Magic. The difference here is that Cantan knows when to come on strong and when to cool off. last day of a snowy Christmas in Dublin, Gabriel Conroy reaches a personal epiphany. Joe Dowling directs a 22-strong cast. Abbey Theatre Until Jan 19 7.30pm (Sat mat 2pm) 113-140 abbeytheatre.ie Forest Fringe The alt platform for performance in Edinburgh, a microfestival in itself, comes to Dublin courtesy of The Lir, Dublin Fringe Festival and the “Maybe she just happened to glance at the Three’s Company boxset,” wonders the nervy statistician, who’s go-getter wife liaises, largely by accident, with Jezebel, a ditsy naïf living down her name. Cantan is less interested in the goofy titillation of sitcoms, though, or the obvious embarrassment of farce, than the ludicrous repercussions for three people who can’t be honest with each other.
Emotional truths or profound characterisation play a third wheel to the accelerating ingenuity of the plotting, and both conservatives and liberals should be appeased and appalled at different moments. But everyone is invited to share in their love life. Hey – the more the merrier. British Council for three nights. It features innovative work from Britain and Ireland, staged throughout the night, including Bristol’s Action Hero, Dan Canham, Veronica Dyas, Kieran Hurley, Hot for Theatre and Tim Etchells. The Lir Ends Dec 15 7pm 130/120 fringefest.com Jezebel See panel. Project Arts Centre Until Dec 22 8.15pm 112-116 projectartscentre.ie Forget Turkey! (We’re Going to Phuket This Year) The Lyric, Belfast Lords of Strut: Sell Out Tour Brothers Famous Seamus and Sean-tastic – acrobats, comedians, would-be celebrities and purveyors of their own range of male beauty products – bring their new show on the road, with Seamus hungry for success and Sean less convinced. Through a display of skills and comical psychodynamics this is their journey towards selling out (though tickets are possibly still available). Project Arts Centre. Dec 19-22 projectarts centre.ie My Cousin Rachel Joseph O’Connor’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s mysteryromance novel returns as the Gate’s Christmas offering. New cast member Marty Rea plays the young Philip, who falls in love with his mysterious cousin (Hannah Yelland) and tries to smother suspicions that she doesn’t have his best interests at heart. Toby Frow again directs. Gate Theatre Until Jan 1 7.30pm 125-135 (students Mon-Thurs 115) gatetheatre.ie Orphans Company D stage Dennis Kelly’s dark drama about a couple in an environment of moral decay and how quickly one disturbance leads apparently decent people into acts of torture. Teacher’s Club Theatre, Parnell Sq Ends Dec 15 7.30pm (Sat mat 2pm) 116/112 086-8448468 Pony Panto Anyone familiar with the cheeky good times of ponydance’s mega-skilled and divinely funny performances won’t want to miss their inimitable take on Christmas, involving showgirls, drag queens and dancers in their underwear. Sounds like standard panto, come to think of it. Project Arts Centre. Dec 19-22 8pm 110-115 projectarts centre.ie Quietly Celebrated Northern Irish writer Owen McCafferty makes his Abbey debut with this world premiere, directed by Jimmy Fay. Two middle-aged Belfast men with a shared and traumatic past meet for the first time, unable to move forward until they come to terms with what has gone before. Patrick O’Kane, Declan Conlon and Robert Zawadzki perform. Peacock Theatre Ends Dec 15 8pm 118-125 abbeytheatre.ie A Real Christmas Cracker June Rodgers returns for more seasonal character-based comedy and music, with singing relief from The Voice of Ireland contender Kevin Keeley. Red Cow Moran Hotel Until Jan 1 169.50/149.50 (incl dinner) redcowmoranhotel.com Santaland Diaries Andrew Murray plays a dour and unemployed man who takes a job as an elf to a department store Santa and gives an acerbic behind-the-scenes tour of manufactured Christmas cheer. Viking Theatre@thesheds, Clontarf Until Dec 22 8pm 110 vikingtheatredublin.com
Home Galway’s Fregoli Theatre stage a new work for audience members aged 12 and up, in which six characters of different backgrounds share memories of Irish homes, from wellies and cows to GAA, grass and Christmas, using energy and humour. Town Hall Theatre Ends Dec 14 8.30pm 112/110 tht.ie
Ride On! Five members of the Drumkarren Honda Club convene in a shed before a motorbike-ride in Seamus O’Rourke’s comedy, toured by Livin’ Dred. Roscommon Arts Centre Dec 14-15 8pm 118/116 roscommonartscentre.ie
JEZEBEL Project Arts Centre, Dublin Until Dec 22 8.15pm ¤12¤16 projectartscentre.ie