Sex by the num­bers

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - LISTINGS - PETER CRAW­LEY

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 abbeythe­ 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 fringe­ Jezebel See panel. Project Arts Cen­tre Un­til Dec 22 8.15pm 112-116 pro­jec­tarts­cen­ 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 cen­ 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) gateth­e­ 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 cen­ 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 abbeythe­ 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) red­cow­moran­ho­ 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 vikingth­e­atre­


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


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 roscom­monarts­cen­

JEZEBEL Project Arts Cen­tre, Dublin Un­til Dec 22 8.15pm ¤12¤16 pro­jec­tarts­cen­

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