My first visit to Ovalhouse was to see this charming, thought-provoking piece of theatre.
It forms part of a series with the theme “Beside Me”, which the brochure describes as, “an eclectic trip around a carousel of light-hearted and heart-felt ephemera.”
Ten Out of Ten, follows a fictitious character’s search for recognition, success and achievement and also the inevitable failures and disasters in this strange thing we call existence.
The cast of Terry O’Donovan, Stuart Barter and Clare Dunn (who devised the piece too), use this character to actually hold a mirror to our own absurd quests for attainment. I found it profoundly challenging and moving on occasions. Their use of physical theatre and music help communicate this longing and fear we all have effectively and I found several moments extremely percipient.
There is also humour aplenty, I loved the job interview section and I’m sure anyone that has endured an interview will recognise the bland generic questions we are all asked at such times.
It’s a theatrical piece that does require audience participation, but I felt the cast handled us all with care and there were no awkward moments. I found the audience involvement actually helped us to bond with one another and the universal themes that we were exploring. The redundancy scene was especially poignant and relevant to our current economic climate.
I left the theatre and felt affected in a way that I’ve not been by a piece of theatre in a long time. It may sound a bit pretentious but this felt like an absurdist play for the 21st century. Terry O’Donovan, Stuart Barter and Clare Dunn are to be congratulated on not just their excellent performances but their accurate devising of this innate need we all have for recognition in its deepest or most trivial way.
STARS : * * * *