Life Behind the Venue

Reviewer's Rating

Founded in 2005, Clinic Media is a theatre and film production company based in Cork. Following the success of Life in the Venuecomes Life Behind the Venue, the second instalment of the company’s interactive exploration of the individual and the pressure to fit neatly within the accepted parameters of society and the workplace.

Clinic Media take us on a personal tour of the Everyman Theatre. We follow the cast on a trail throughout one of Cork’s most celebrated venues. Taking us backstage and exposing us to areas typically concealed, we are given an all access look, exploring the secreted nooks and alcoves hidden throughout the building.

Devised and created by Eoin Ó hAnnracháin and Mary-Lou McCarthy, the performance is largely improvised to adhere to the intimacy of the piece and adapt to the diverse audiences each evening. The audience which is made up of approximately 20 members play an interactive role in this promenade production. Acting as trainee ushers the audience is inducted into their new role with the help of Stephanie, Gerard and Brian, all full-time ushers at ‘The Venue.’

The performance beings in the theatre bar where the audience is greeted by Stephanie, one of The Venue’s longest standing employees. As Stephanie diligently indicates the nearest exits and outlines the safety measures to be undertaken in the unlikely event of an emergency, supervisor Marilyn enters and introduces herself with an authoritative giggle. This rallies Stephanie and sends her into a flurry as she breaks the audience into four groups. It is from here we embark on our journey with Brian, Gerard, Stephanie and Marilyn.

Initiative, an idea which is fundamental to ones success in the work force today takes centre stage in this production with each usher showcasing their understanding of the word; Stephanie’s buoyant idea to sell a ‘half price seat’ (a gap between the wall and chair), Brain’s masterful undertaking of the opposite task to which he is assigned in an attempt to show he is capable of doing ‘more than what is asked of him’ and Gerard’s budding urge to work the stage, not the aisles.

Clinic Media experiment with the issue of the invisible worker in society today and create a vibrant picture of the individual in the workplace. With memorable performances from the entire cast, Mary-Lou McCarthy and Danny O’Connor especially, all four knit together effortlessly; Brian, mellow yet strategic, Stephanie, efficient but absentminded, Gerard, lovingly vain and Marilyn, a uniformed eccentric.

Life Behind the Venueis frantically funny! Let Clinic Media take you behind the scenes!