Review: The Fattest Dancer at St Bernadette’s

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub.

Triple threat Julian Le Blanc is up to high doh. It’s the 10th anniversary of his eponymous school of dance and drama but the upcoming celebratory show is far from perfect. There’s lots to rehearse, students with social problems, and an assistant who can’t really assist. If Ballybough Road thought it had seen drama before it has another thing coming.

Written and performed by Thommas Kane Byrne this is primarily a one-man show that is interspersed with other characters, namely the students and assistant Janice (Ciara Ivie).

The delivery and timing of venomous insults and one-liners is en pointe. This, coupled with heartfelt laments and high drama, results in 60 minutes of enjoyably boisterous theatre that isn’t for the fainthearted.

At times problems with vocal projection means missing some of the fast-paced quips, however, there are plenty to go around. The acerbic put-downs and outright bitchiness come fast and heavy leading to hilarity that too drowns out some of the performance. These minor issues are worth it for the litany of abuse that is doled out to all and sundry in this strangely inspirational performance.

Presented by The Breadline Collective and directed by Clare Maguire, this fast-paced quirky tale has a lot to offer beyond just the humour and cutting remarks. The Fattest Dancer at St Bernadette’s tells a story of overcoming obstacles and how the road to glory is paved with suffering, and even then dreams may be elusive. It’s about dusting yourself off, putting the bargain bucket down, and getting on with life even when if it’s not the one you’d hoped for.

Writer: Thommas Kane Byrne

Director: Clare Maguire

Runs until 22 September 2018 | Image: Contributed

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