Dublin Fringe Review: “Sparkplug”

Little John Nee describes himself as a “writer, performer, storyteller and musician” and that’s exactly what you’ll get from this seventy minute trip through a wacky Donegal town and the romantic blues man at its heart.

There are some nice moments of whimsy, and the combination of music and story-telling works when Little John lets his strong voice run wild and his lyrics thrive on specificity. But these moments are, unfortunately, few and far between, and more often than not the show is tugged in too many directions at once: story-telling undermined by musical interludes, characterisations undermined by scant narrative purpose, pace undermined by jokes about broadband, Rangers and the dreaded Facebook.

The set design is gorgeous and inventive, while Little John’s musical skills show the most promise when consistently (and impressively) using live looping, and when conducting the audience as an orchestra of bell-wavers. But these adornments aren’t enough to distract from the slow pacing of the show and narrative and musical styles that never quite get on their feet.

A show for people looking for a little bit of everything, but this jack of all trades is a master of none.

This review originally appeared as part of entertainment.ie’s Fringe coverage here.


About alfla

Playwright, screenwriter, sometime improv enthusiast and full-time television lover. You know, in THAT way.
This entry was posted in Reviews, Theatre Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s