Two boys and two girls from generation X are clubbing in contemporary Dublin, looking in no uncertain terms to get laid. None have names, none interact. An example of what publicity identified as “the Irish spoken word scene,” Boys And Girls is like watching/listening to four hip hop musicians perform solo riffs on a common theme. The piece even begins with a dah da dah vocal.
“My dick is the victor who writes it (history) and it writes mysteries. You’ll never know what went down – oh ho- and fuck now I’m thinking about Agatha Christie. Instant bone-killer.” Boy #1 is an eyes-on-the-prize poon hound (womanizer.) “Treat’ em mean, yes, keep’ em keen.”
“I’ve had one partner precisely from six-to-nineteen and though we treated each other nicely, that doesn’t mean it was educational. Sex was less than sensational. ” Boy #2 is naïve, tender, embarrassed. “No offense, ma, love you loads da, but you molded me too wholesome, too winsome and then some, to ever fuckin’ get some.”
“Porn prefers pussy. Cunt is …insecurity, a sign he’s not sure that he belongs in the dick-club.” Girl #1 is a smart, tough cookie, feminist. “…cunt spoils the mood. Sexual, but not sexy, it intrudes on this most sacred of sacreds, this loving act of self-hatred-if you believe the church- with unwelcome reality.”
“I love you meaning mutual reliance & lust, do what you want to me and then do what you must.” Girl #2 has settled with her eyes open despite upbringing. “Jamie sometimes rebuffs me cos he can’t believe I like to… So earnestly determined to save me the trouble he ends up selfish.” Still, she’s not complaining.
The cast sits in a row each rising when he/she speaks, rising in unison to count off, what, drinks? Playwright Dylan Coburn Gray mixes young adult angst, Joycean expansiveness, Lenny Bruce provocation, and hip hop colloquials. Some resonates, some elusively remains words. The piece , though likely socially accurate, arrives a skillfully executed exercise. Perhaps if characters had more developed personalities or related to one another…
Ronan Carey is compelling. Rhythmic performance never eschews meaning. Tiny pauses reflect thinking. Gestures seem compelled. Sean Doyle personifies innocence battling with hormones. The actor is less physically specific than he might be. Maeve O’Mahony is saddled with intellectual and objective passages which can feel like recitation. Still, she delivers a heated description of fucking. Claire O’Reilly allows the ‘normalcy’ of her character to diminish presence. She fades.
Photo by Carol Rosegg
Murmur Productions presents
Boys And Girls
Written and Directed by Dylan Coburn Gray
With Ronan Carey, Sean Doyle, Claire O’Reilly, Maeve O’Mahony
59 East 59St
Through September 28, 2014