Gary Duggan’s latest play tells the story of a young man from the ‘Mun on the run to the Big Apple, a fast paced world of drugs, sex and violence that proves to be far more than he bargained for.
The play melds the opposing worlds of Dublin and NYC with skill, revelling in the uncanny nature of having one stare the other in the face. The collision is mimicked structurally, as the text boasts the intimate direct address of the great Irish storytelling tradition along with sharp, cinematic scenes torn from a Spike Lee movie.
Run/Don’t Run struggles a little when it comes to production values (an unintentional fourth cast member in the form of a bead curtain proves particularly troublesome) and boasts a plot littered with stereotypes – the spunky Latina, the hard man out to prove himself, Chekov’s gun makes an appearance – however, Run/Don’t Run is at it’s most interesting when examining ideas of place and heritage. Each one of the characters is an immigrant in one way or another, and their relationship to place both past and present roots them on stage.
Bolstered by sterling performances all round, a keen-eyed director in Aoife Spillane-Hinks and a generous helping of laughs along the way, Run/Don’t Run is a theatrically daring and thought provoking journey through both the streets of NYC and the back alleys of Ballymun.