Ev­ery Bril­liant Thing

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS - Peter Craw­ley

Pav­il­ion The­atre, Dun Laoghaire. Jul 12-16 8pm (Sat and Sun ex­tra show 5pm) ¤21/¤19 pavil­ionthe­atre.ie Mid­way through Dun­can Macmil­lan’s art­fully en­gag­ing play Ev­ery Bril­liant Thing, writ­ten with its ami­able per­former Jonny Don­a­hoe, a young man burns with em­bar­rass­ment when his life’s work is ac­ci­den­tally dis­cov­ered. This is a list, started at the age of seven, of ev­ery­thing that makes life worth liv­ing. It be­gins with ice cream, ranks Dan­ger Mouse above spaghetti Bolog­nese, and finds room for guilty de­lights (“peo­ple fall­ing over”) or in­ti­mate con­fi­dences (some­one “to check your teeth for broc­coli”). That might seem like a triv­ial way to save a life. Fol­low­ing its ap­pear­ance at last year’s Dublin The­atre Fes­ti­val, this be­guil­ing, in­tel­li­gent pro­duc­tion from Paines Plough and Pentabus re­turns for a short en­gage­ment to fol­low the nar­ra­tor’s child­like re­sponse to fight­ing clin­i­cal de­pres­sion with pure whimsy. Through var­i­ous life stages, from school to col­lege, mar­riage to mort­gage, the list grows to fairy-tale pro­por­tions, and though Don­a­hoe is never cer­tain if it moves his sui­ci­dal mother, he has in­nu­mer­able al­lies in his au­di­ence.

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