ERIS at the Bunker Theatre offers up a riot of sound, a queering of form, a boldness in style well worth seeing
“You know what would really fuck them off? If you went out there and found the least suitable, most inappropriate, most outrageous hunk of a man that this fine city has to offer, and the pair of you rock up to that church service in May, arm in arm.”
Now this is what you want your fringe theatre to do, really shake things up. The combination of writer John King and director Robbie Taylor Hunt really comes good in ERIS at the Bunker Theatre in a riot of sound, a queering of form, a boldness in style that really makes you sit up and pay attention.
Sean’s sister is getting married back home in Ireland but the invitation came with a caveat – you can’t bring your boyfriend, he’s too camp. Never mind that Tim and he have actually broken up, his return to the town of his childhood thus becomes loaded with a challenge to his very identity. Is the home you make for yourself more valid than the one you’re born in or can they co-exist?
It’s a pleasingly complex subject and one which Sean tackles with gusto in trying to find the biggest way to flick two fingers up to his family. And one which finds its own kind of resolution in a bizarrely free-wheeling climax which could perhaps benefit from a little more space and time to be played out to more compelling effect.
Cormac Elliott’s Seán is an appealing central figure but the real appeal of Taylor Hunt’s production comes with the use of a chorus to populate the world around him in a most idiosyncratic way. In a grid of mike stands around Seán, the four of them have a whale of a time evoking anything from a trip to see Cats to the whirl of Tinder to the uniquely needling tone that only family members can lay on you. Thrilling stuff.