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Dublin Dance Festival 2014 - Swing's the thing

Swing by Fishamble: The New Play Company
Swing by Fishamble: The New Play Company
Patrick Redmond

Swing by Fishamble: The New Play Company

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Let’s just cut to the chase here. Swing, by Fishamble: The New Play Company, written by Steve Blount, Gavin Kostick, Janet Moran and Peter Daly, is a simple story, simply told with a simple set. And it is simply marvellous.

In Swing we meet dancing partners Joe and May. Joe has returned to college at fifty to study horticulture following a failed marriage and a failed family business that went under during the recession. He lives in a bedsit and plays phone tag with his two sons living abroad. May once dreamed of being an artist but has settled at forty for being a graphic designer and for a comfortable relationship with a project manager working abroad. Both have decided to try swing dance classes, along with a cast of misfits, divas, desperados and the highly stressed. Over the course of a year their relationship deepens as they practice their dance routines. Like its songs and dances, Swing is an old story heard many times before. But rarely has it been told with such warmth, humour and charm.

On a bare stage with two chairs, Steve Blount and Janet Moran bring to life the weird and wonderful characters that inhabit the world of Swing. Seamlessly switching between roles, Blouth and Moran are masters of their craft. Blount’s portrayal of Joe as a battered phoenix hauling himself slowly out of the ashes is a sheer delight. As is Moran’s unsure and searching May. Peter Daly’s excellent direction keeps the pace moving along nicely and elicits two outstanding performances in the process.

Swing perfectly illustrates the diversity on offer at the Dublin Dance Festival, which has wisely included a play loosely based around dance in its programme. It’s also a fitting testament to dance itself. In Swing dance is about hope, about discovering and rediscovering yourself, about finding a place to belong, a place to dream and remember, about second chances and searching for joy beyond the struggles. It’s a reminder that dance is for everyone. As is Swing.

If you haven’t already seen this charming little gem, drop what you’re doing and book your tickets now. If you've already had the pleasure, go see it again. Swing is a joyous dance of life, love, hope and humanity with two memorable performances worthy of their standing ovations. You’d be insane to miss it.

Swing runs at The Peacock Theatre till Saturday, May 31st as part of the Dublin Dance Festival.

Show begins at 8.00 p.m.

There will be a post-show talk on Wednesday, May 28th.

For more information go to: http://www.dublindancefestival.ie/