The Peacock Stage @ The Abbey Theatre, 26-27 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1
Runs 9-13 September nightly at 7pm; Saturday 13 September matinee, 3pm
Two semi-naked men throw shapes and flirt – no it is not Friday night in The George or The Dragon, but rather Chaos, the latest show from the dance gurus Lords of Strut. For those not familiar with the duo, they are brothers Famous Seamus and Sean-tastic for whom dance is a way of life. Somewhat socially impaired, they believe in sharing (almost literally) everything with their audience, as they shimmy and shake their way to the top, throwing in some acrobatics along the way.
This show has the honour of being the first ever Dublin Fringe Festival Show to take to one of the stages of our National Theatre. While two fame-obsessed brothers shaking their thang might not seem like the kind of fare that deserves this honour, the Strut brother’s emotional journey as they spread their message of “doing the do”, proves to be one of the funniest shows of this year’s festival, and a real treat for audiences.
Chaos is the sort of show that you would normally see at 11pm in a dusky cabaret club, when everyone is the right side of merry, so it is incredibly brave of the guys to perform this at 7pm in the evening, to a stone cold sober crowd. Anarchic in places with plenty of double entendre, and little left to the imagination when it comes to the costumes, this is definitely a show for grown-ups.
Opening with a hilarious dance number, the show evolves to see the duo interacting with the audience, even bringing one unsuspecting member up on stage to interview them. Accosting your public can go either way, but thankfully, the evening I attended they called up a guy who, despite being mortified, fully embraced the experience. He even threw in a little improv. The point of the show is to spread the word that we can all achieve our dreams, and this is reiterated throughout in both words and movement.
Some of the funniest moments are when the brothers bicker, oblivious to the fact that the audience is there. It has that sense of awkwardness that you get when you see anyone arguing, which is amplified by the physicality employed by the pair. This is a hard show to explain without ruining it for people, but suffice to say they throw everything, including the kitchen sink (literally) at the audience and there is even a sing-along!
Part performance art, part slapstick, part stand up, and part circus, it is difficult to categorise these guys other than to say that it is as if Michael Flatley and Jim Carrey had a somewhat sado-masochistic love-child they would be it. When the show ends you find that you still want more, and this is the kind of act that you could cheerfully watch for hours.
It provides huge belly laughs rather than subtle giggles, and has a fantastic energy. At the end of the show, they ask you to tell ten people, who will then come and then tell ten people, who will then come and eventually everyone will come, and after watching this, it’s safe to say that I may even come again! If you like your humour on the risqué and risky side, you will love this – just don’t try it at home!
For more information, visit fringefest.com