When can something that’s funny also be profound? This is something I think about a lot when it comes to theatre. And obliquely this overlap is also being explored in this show.
The three performers are very funny. They feel really authentic. They talk about their real lives, past shows together, bad reviews etc. They are apparently in the middle of preparing an arts council application and are inviting us to watch them do it. It’s a classic comedy set-up where they keep talking about doing something, but in the end do nothing. And they make a really strong case for doing nothing, because they are very entertaining at doing it.
Five minutes of comic gold involved one of the performers, Ragnar Bragason, organizing his desk. At another point, Friðgeir Einarsson makes a long speech where he compares theatre to putting his dick through a glory hole every night. He’s putting it out there, he says, but he doesn’t know who’s receiving it. This happens about 45 minutes into the play and I feel it’s a point where they are saying something funny that’s not just a joke. I really think these performers want to connect with us.
After this Bragason tells the story of living with his mother’s depression. It’s funny, but it also feels very real. The other two respond by bullying him into using this story as material for their show. It’s a cruel choice. We’re laughing but I also feel Kriðpleir are trying to say something profound with this choice. It’s tricky territory for the show and requires deft performing from the actors. I feel it wasn’t pulled off the night I saw it (though I’m sure other nights it is.) It just felt like a fake moment in what was otherwise a very authentic show. Overall I get it. I enjoyed it. I’d just like to see it again to see if I really get it. That’s a good show.
Dick for DRAFF
Crisis Meeting by Kriðpleir was presented at Project Arts Centre from September 29 - October 2, as part of Dublin Theatre Festival. [www.kridpleir.com]