On Wednesday 2nd of October last I attended an edgy, gripping performance of “Bruising of Clouds” at The Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. The production was written by Sean McLoughlin also known as Sammy Gleeson. Directed by Jim Culleton, Set Designed by Sinead O’Hanlon, Costume Design by Donna Geraghty, Lighting Design by Mark Galione, Hair and Make-up Design by Val Sherlock.
This edgy, unsettling drama is set in a spacious one bedroom flat in a Victorian house in Fairview. You are hooked from the word go with off stage voices coming from outside the door opening on stage into the darkened sitting room, cum kitchen/dining room. As the door opens a shaft of light streaks across the stage and beams our stumbling, fumbling, bumbling heroes.
The set addressed the writer’s stage directions as in the script and added more.
Sinead O’ Hanlon presents the performance space three walled box set with a double doors leading upstage left to a perceived bedroom. Stage right is the door out to the landing shared by other residents. Down stage left is kitchen area with a fridge on the onstage end of a short run of floor units that return up the stage left wall. The centre stage performance space is shared by a small two-seater fold out leather couch, coffee table and a fireside chair.
Overall set is visually pleasing and appropriate to the drama; the scenic elements are economically skeletal and effective. The cornice, doorframes, skirtings, kitchen units, props and dressings are ensconced in three walls of black drapes which gave a subdued starkness to the space. This assisted in confining the observer’s attention on the performers, an effect which was supported by Mark Galione’s lighting. The sense of other occupants and floors above was referenced by Sinead O’ Hanlons framing of the performance area with a false proscenium consisting of different sized doors, most of which with back lit panels. The space above the performance area was dressed with flown windows of different sizes and styles, all with back lit or internally lit panels, some with party/Christmas lights.
Donna Geraghty Costume Design was effective in giving the characters a credible appearance/sense of being a suburban Dublin, working class, 25 to 35 year olds in a confused society.
Val Sherlock’s Hair and Make-up Design augments the pithy appearance of the characters as different dramatic moments
As the drama unfolds the encroaching mental and physical deterioration of the characters was convincingly supported by Costume and Make-up designs attention to costume and make-up changes.
The Lighting Design was subtle and sensitive in conveying not only the time of day, weather but added to dramatic moments. I would question the necessity for the on stage “light reflectors”, perhaps they were necessary to light some of the down stage close intimate moments!
Overall a contrastingly comfortable setting in which this edgy, unsettling drama unfolds.
The programme was good value at €5.00 apart from information on Fishamble, biographies on the cast and crew it contained the script with the writers stage directions.
Programmes that provide useful content such as the Director’s view on the play and/or comments and sketches by the designers giving insight into some of the thought process behind the concept development are to be encouraged. Such input from the Director and the Designers is of immense value to students of Design for Stage and Screen, Performance, Design for Performance and when provided is to be welcomed.
Jim Culleton: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2614266/
Sinead O’Hanlon: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2613934/
Donna Geraghty: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4914790/resume?ref_=nm_ov_res