Nadine Flynn accurately encapsulates the harsh realities and the genuine people of inner city Dublin in her outstanding play Running With Dinosaurs, which was brought to life on the stage by Lee Wilson at The New Theatre.
A victim of circumstance, Jay who was portrayed by Daniel Monaghan finds himself struggling to seek a better life for himself and his family. His sister’s boyfriend Deco (Rory Dignam) is a Garda in training who offers a small sum of money to aid Jay on condition that he helps to take down a gang to cease the sale of what he thinks to be pirate copy DVDs.
This truly thought provoking performance honoured the sentiment of inner-city Dublin, with accents which were on point and the organic humour of the northside which had the audience in constant laughter. A strong bond and a sense of love between Jay and his family were portrayed convincingly by the actors which made the characters extremely likeable. Yet the tragic contrast of events such as the demise of his mother Yvonne (Aislinn Ní Uallacháin) and the destruction caused by Deco that is simultaneously depicted within the play left me with a brilliant bitter sweet aftertaste.
Mary Sheehan’s setting proved to be very appropriate with its minimalistic white furniture and few props. The monochrome costumes complemented this while serving true to the character’s environment. Bill Woodland’s soft lighting enhanced these aspects and created a very amiable atmosphere, especially during the light-hearted scenes with the family. His use of spotlight was equally effective in the portrayal of intense scenes with Jay and Deco, notably during the climax of the play.
Running with Dinosaurs is an excellent example of contemporary Irish art that reflects upon vital issues such as urban crime which are sometimes masked and ignored. This play will make you contemplate upon the likes of Jay and his family. It will make you question, who are the real dinosaurs of society?