This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub.
Two couples begin to tell their tales of modern life and love in a fast paced and fun manner. As the couples attend their respective nights out the humour quickly fades when it becomes apparent that these relationships are anything but fun. At least not anymore.
From All Sides explores domestic violence and abuse in relationships, and as the title suggests, attempts to do so from all perspectives. Having heard each couple’s story from both a male and female point of view the audience get to choose whose story they hear the rest of. This is the extent of the audience participation and the story quickly continues as the couples relay their tales in an overlapping manner.
Given that the course of the story is in the hands of the audience, the able cast of Luke Griffin, Aoibheann McCaul, Amilia Stewart and Conan Keating need to be on top form, especially given the poetic deftness of Lee Coffey’s script. Thankfully they are up to the task and under the direction of Aaron Monaghan they convey the darkness, depth, and humour of Coffey’s concept. Despite its central topic From All Sidesprovides plenty of laughs, particularly from the charter of Mel (Amilia Stewart). Through these moments of humour that intersperse the abuse and viciousness the audience experience a tiny amount of the emotional rollercoaster that the characters surely face on a day to day basis.
From All Sides tackles the murky subject of domestic violence while also exploring the influence gender has on our opinions and the everyday choices we make. It is a brave 55 minutes of theatre that focuses on adult themes while also telling a rousing and, oddly, at times fun modern tragedy.
Writer: Lee Coffey
Director: Aaron Monaghan
Runs until 17 September 2017 at Smock Alley and from 20-22 September 2017 at Axis Ballymun | Image: Contributed