Emma O’Donoghue ventures to The Far Side, which plays at the Light House cinema from 11 – 18 September as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival.
A shoebox … siblings at a breakfast table … a dance in a bingo hall. Memories that lodge in the mind, vivid and intact despite the passage of time and the hindsight of experience. Dreams of the young and memories of the old. Animal nicknames, stormtroopers and singing competitions. Welcome to The Far Side.
Over the course of two years, artist Feidlim Cannon (Brokentalkers) conducted a series of writing workshops with seven people, all hailing from within a one-mile radius of Drogheda, Co. Louth. He asked them to speak openly and candidly about their experiences and memories of growing up there. Their images sit and look out at us. No fuss, just stories told with wry humour and heartfelt honesty. Behind them the screen depicts their stories; the strange and wonderful recesses of their minds are brought to life.
A uniquely enthralling approach is used to present these stories. Through the use of live performance, clever visuals and music – both classic and contemporary – a mesmerising and sometimes surreal social history of Drogheda is created before our eyes. Little glimpses of life-changing events and fond reminiscences are witnessed. Past and present mix fluidly. The audience is engaged with and carried along from beginning to end.
Everyone has a story to tell, an insight to give, no matter what age they are or life experiences they have had. Some of these are hilarious, some are heartbreaking, some are deeply familiar. Experiences, no matter how seemingly insignificant to the outside world, form us as people. They make life more interesting. The Far Side takes a simple idea, the idea of sharing a small part of oneself, and creates a ‘living history’, executed with creativity, sensitivity and a good dose of divilment. This is well worth seeing.