The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle

Ross Dungan

15th Oak

Pleasance King Dome

From 01 August 2012 to 27 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

This is a delightful little gem of a play by Dublin based playwright Ross Dungan and the eight skilled Irish actors from 15th Oak certainly have the ‘gift of the gab’ and are fine storytellers.

The set is a hotchpotch of detritus with various lampshades hanging from the ceiling. All the lighting comes from these with no stage lighting as such and it works well.

Director Dan Herd plays this piece at a fast pace, almost a race against time that gives the play energy and dynamism.

Eric has been knocked over in a car accident and finds himself in limbo sitting in a chair with his hands covering his eyes and an intense pain in his chest. It is revealed that he is 58 years old and the car that hit him was travelling at 67MPH, but where is he?

The audience is informed that they are there to witness the proceedings as his life slowly and painstakingly unfolds through a series of flashbacks.

It would spoil the enjoyment to reveal any more of the plot but there is much humour and pathos in this dark comedy.

Some decision will be made at the end but we have to wait until the very end of the play for the clever dénouement.

There is some excellent onstage live music and all the cast perform multiple roles as well as narrating this heartwarming story. They create beautiful characters, each one totally believable, and it’s a sheer joy to watch.

This is captivating and immersive theatre.