Bitter Like A Lemon make their Dublin Fringe Festival début with “From All Sides” taking the Black Box at Smock Alley Theatre by storm with an incredibly visceral performance, intertwined with a wonderfully brutal poetic honesty that leaves you longing to know more.
“From All Sides” is very much a theatrical play as it hands all cards (quite literally, in this case) over to its audience, placing each and every one of us in the driving seat from the moment we enter the theatre space. Upon entering the Black Box the audience are each presented with a card – one side of the card is blue and the other is red. We are asked to briefly listen, to observe and to follow the relationship of two couples, but with four rattling antithetical points of view for the first fifteen minutes of the performance before making a crucial decision.
Four characters – Dom, Jenny, Mel and Kev.
Two relationships – Dom and Jenny / Mel and Kev
‘From All Sides‘ we must now choose only two. Will the abuser, the aggressor, the assailant, be the man, the woman or both?
Tick tock, you’re on the clock.
A judgement has been made, taking us on a journey from the perspective of Dom (Luke Griffin) and his relationship with Jenny (Aoibheann McCaul), and of Mel (Amilia Stewart) and her relationship with Kev (Conall Keating). We follow these two relationships that blossomed with love and evolved from one act of violence and turned into something much more gruesome.
The set is beautifully simple in its design, as is the lighting – which captures the evocative emotion on Luke Griffin’s (Dom) face beautifully as his story unfolds, and the intensity on Amilia Stewart’s (Mel), as she delivers her lines with a light, but raw honesty that sets your heart on fire in your seat.
Under the direction of Aaron Monaghan, and with the words from a truly incredible script by Lee Coffey, we bear witness to a show that explores the extremities, and the realities, of what is acceptable and natural for one gender, but is not for the other.
McCaul, Griffin, Stewart and Keating all allow us to live through the narrative of their characters, to see it and feel it along with them as they take us on a journey of the beauty and antagonism found in modern relationships.
One, Two, Three, Four – go buy a ticket to find out more.
by Nicole Kelly