Romancing the Score at Pentameters

  • Theatre
 
Romancing the Score at Pentameters

Published:

Mon, 16/02/2015 - 12:34

By:

paul
Romancing the Score at Pentameters
Published: 
12 February, 2015
by HARRIET AGERHOLM
ROMANCING the Score is set in a dilapidated traditional Irish pub, isolated from the outside world. Rooted in the present day, the play is a commentary on the consequences of the steady gentrification of Belfast.
 
Yet the play resonates further than Ireland as "comfortless" bars and gastro-pubs are replacing traditional public houses all over London.
 
Shane White's play follows a young journalist, Janice (stand-out performance from Victoria Armstrong), as she searches for the scoop that will make her career. She is placed at the unlikely venue of Bridie’s Pub where she follows the lives of a four-man five-a-side team (you read correctly), who lose every match they play.
 
Indeed, the inhabitants of the pub are haunted by loss. The lead, Brian (an engaging performance by James McAnespy), is struggling to come to terms with the deterioration of his father who has Alzheimer’s, as well as the disappearance of a former lover, who ran off to the circus with a handsome man called Ronaldo. When Brian’s former lover returns (Paulina Peters), it turns out that Ronaldo had false teeth and needed corrective eye surgery.
 
In a Beckettian twist, the outside world is shown to be superficial and unfulfilling, leaving those in the pub to cling to what they have: tradition. As one character remarks: “There is something to accepting life as it is, a depressing thought, I agree.”
 
One or two accents are unconvincing and the speech is not always intelligible, a hazard that emerges from presenting Irish intonation to a London audience. Yet the play is an intelligent meditation on the passing of tradition and whether it is right that we should mourn it.
 
UNTIL FEBRUARY 22

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