Review: ‘Straight to video’ at the Project Arts Centre

Set against the backdrop of the anti-drug protests in Tallaght in the 1990s, Barry’s business is struggling. He decides to engage in a bit of harmless video piracy with the suspicious local community activist Coach (Stephen Brennan), whose thuggish sidekick Kenno (Lloyd Cooney) seems to be drawn to Colin. Things take a turn for the complicated.

It’s a funny play with some excellent physical theatre, biting one-liners and a great chemistry between the ensemble cast. It’s missing something however – possibly a plot? The is no real narrative here and there is sparse character development. The drug wars of the 1990s are touched upon but not explored. It’s one entertaining set piece after the other. The arrival of  Derbhle Crotty as the ‘video van woman’ from the future is bizarre. Yes, she gives a hilarious performance but the character serves no purpose other than as a plot device.

Nevertheless the comedic and energetic performances lift the play. In less capable hands it could be regarded as a version of ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys’ set in a video shop.

Directed by Phillip McMahon ‘Straight to video’ runs in the Project until 11 December.

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