Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Nothing so funny as wallowing in misery

Yew Tree Theatre presents this romantic comedy, from the author of the smash-hit drama, Alone It Stands.

Have you ever fallen in love? Of course you have. What about the opposite? There'll be plenty for you to recognise in John Breen's play Falling Out of Love, which opens at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen this evening.

Barry loves Audrey, and in a bid to secure her affections, he plans to bungee jump off the roof of her building. Meanwhile, David has just broken Ciara's heart, and in return, she's planning to break his furniture.

Edward has been carrying out a secret sexual experiment on Fiona for three weeks — and she hasn't even noticed. Three relationships, one doomed sofa. What do they all have in common?

That's right, falling out of love. There's nothing as funny as other people's misery, we're assured. So expect plenty of laughs in Enniskillen tonight and tomorrow.

You'd need someone like Sherlock Holmes to explain the mysteries of love — but the legendary sleuth has his hands full just at the moment, in a show on stage tonight and tomorrow at the Baby Grand in the Grand Opera House, Belfast.

Jay Productions present this wry tale of murder, mystery and the occult (although there's no sexual experiments under way in Baker Street, I'm assured), as Roger Llewellyn brings the detective to life in The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes. The Baby Grand next plays host to a show called Static, which tells the poignant tale of a young woman who has lost her husband. She discovers a compilation tape that he made but never gave her, and becomes convinced it contains a secret message from beyond the grave.

Static fuses dialogue, sign language and audio description to explore both love and loss. The show is played out to a soundtrack which includes Sonic Youth, The Smiths, The Ramones, Girls Aloud and even The Goodies! Definitely one to catch. It opens next Wednesday and runs until April 12.

Before then, you should grab a seat for Bruiser Theatre Company's latest show, which opened this week at the Old Museum Arts Centre.

Voltaire's Candide has been given a re-write by Patrick J O'Reilly, who joins the cast to retell the story of a young man's journey to happiness. Expect plenty of laughs as the eponymous hero sets off on a worldwide tour in search of his sweetheart and the best of all possible worlds, sailing, battling and fortune-finding from country to country. Candide will tour around Northern Ireland from next week.

And before he arrives at a theatre near you, think how luvverly it would be to catch a production of My Fair Lady. Coincidentally, there's one on stage at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh this very week!

Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins are joined by UTV's Niall Donnelly in this classic musical which opened last night, and plays right through until Sunday.

The Little Theatre in Londonderry is also busy this week, hosting Handful Productions' Short Plays Festival — four original short plays from four of the country's most gifted emerging writers.

Bernie Mahon directs dramas from Frankie Lavelle, Ian Campbell, Michael Dooner and Berni Kerr.

Admission is free for the event, which runs until tomorrow night. And next week, the Little Theatre presents Tom Murphy's A Whistle in the Dark, as performed by Mouthpiece Productions.

Murphy's dark drama is set in England in the early 1960s, where Michael Carney and his English wife are joined by his brawling brothers and fearsome father.

As the Carney brothers gear up to confront a rival gang, Michael is forced to take a stand as old resentments and tensions begin to explode.

Plenty for audiences here to recognise. Watch and learn.

grania.mcfadden@googlemail.com

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Cancer:

There's no such thing as an ideal partner. If you're going to fall in love, you have to accept a person's positive and negative qualities. Are you in a toxic relationship? Take a break from this union. Spending time with family can be therapeutic. Your loved ones want the best for you. Many of your relatives have been trying to get you to break up with your partner for a long time. Maybe it's time to heed their advice.More