AT SWIM TWO BIRDS
Theatre going has never like many others been high on my list of priorities. I have always been more into going out with my mates for a few pints, or watching the football on television. So when I found out I had to write a review of a play, I felt it would be deeply challenging to me. My lack of experience I feel, however, gave me the opportunity to give a fresh view on the joys or possible hindrances which may face your ordinary Joe soap wishing to try something new, by attending the theatre. Written as a novel in 1939 by the Irish author Brian O’Nolan, under the Pseudonym name of Flann O’Brien, At Swim Two Birds is widely considered to be one of the most sophisticated examples of metafictional writing ever. Writing in the style of metafiction often involves playfully and paradoxically interacting with the nature of fiction, the techniques and conventions used in it, as well as the role of the author. It has been said that metafictional writing does not let the reader forget he or she is reading a fictional work. At Swim Two Birds is also widely considered to be O'Brien's greatest work/ masterpiece. As a consequence of this, it had often been said within the circles of Irish Theatre that to make a stage production of it would be a massive gamble. None the less this gamble was taken on by the Blue Raincoat Theatre Company, who are based in Sligo and were set up in 1991. The company has taken on many productions since then, with a particular emphasis given to the modern European classics. In this production the Blue Raincoat chose to perform the Jocelyn Clarke adapted version which has subsequently been largely viewed as a success by critics nationwide. Upon entering the Galway Town Hall Theatre we are presented with an auditorium, that is very different to what one would expect when travelling to your average play. At centre stage there is a thrust stage, with a proscenium arch to the rear with a red curtain hanging down from it. This...
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