Dublin Fringe Review: Everything I Do

Review by Peter Blennerhassett

ONE TWO ONE TWO’s Everything I Do is an hour long musical theatre show written and performed by Zoe Ní Riordáin and directed by Maud Lee.

Zoe performs an album of nine original songs which deal with feelings of love, identity, longing, heartbreak and all that good fuel for music. The songs begin subdued and tender with Zoe’s vocals and guitar filling the room with a powerful and emotional need for connection that had audience members on the hook. These quieter moments help to setup up the swells of music later, and there most certainly are swells.

Zoe has undoubted presence, offering up a commanding, fearless performance. The show transitions and morphs as it progresses, with Zoe giving anecdotal monologues interspersed between songs dealing with nostalgia, smiles from strangers and aliens. Her deadpan, well-timed delivery of these monologues produce entertaining and often funny moments, giving the audience a look into the inner workings of the character.

Zoe is then joined by dancer Aoife McAtamney, whose physicality is used with set (designed by Ger Clancy), costume and lighting (designed by Fenna von Hirschheydt) to create striking backdrops to the music being performed. Zoe’s vocals are then paired with the electronic music mixed and mastered by Simon Cullen. These offer a welcome variety, with the layered electronic elements marrying very well with vocals, each song having been expertly and crisply produced.

Simon Cullen has done an excellent job in sound design which created the unseen backbone of the show. As the show neared it’s conclusion, I did begin to wonder about the overall cohesiveness of what was being conveyed.

Though the various aspects were enjoyable, I was left questioning their purpose in the driving message of the piece and if too many elements had been included. The transitions between song to monologue didn’t appear to have a consistent narrative direction and to my mind could only be linked by common themes.

There was potential for a strong, through-line journey of the main character expressed through the music, monologue and physical performance to feed into a unified message. Had this been tapped into, it would have elevated the overall experience.

The show ended on a high to thunderous applause. It achieved a unique flavour and I look forward to see what ONE TWO ONE TWO, Zoe Ní Riordáin and Simon Cullen do next.

Everything I Do is running until the 15th of September at the Project Arts Centre.

 

 

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