Production Photo: Ciaran Bagnall
An extremely concise, slightly unsettling but in many ways extraordinary tribute to creatives and creativity, Tinderbox Theatre's Ignition showcase for 2019 unites Patrick J O'Reilly with twelve artists from Belfast's Play Machine to truly shake and spear Britney Spears. But in a very incisive way.
The concept is simple yet uniquely brilliant. Opera, prose, verse and wild choreography are wed to Spears' lyrics as a means of exploring gaslighting, a Midsummer's Nightmare & Dream filled with passion and darkness. Intense, spontaneous and haphazard in tone, the work ignites countless ideas in a mere thirty minutes, its pale-faced ensemble speaking not only for Spears' troubling but remarkable history as a singer and a human, but for everyone – the frequently desired for but often ignored love, empathy and recognition on the basis of who we are as people and creatives.
It’s a scenario where Spears really is Shakespeare's Sister, providing the ignition of a tragic and thoughtful call for everyone to literally Stay together, in some way, on their multi-faceted, rewarding and punishing artistic journeys while they all hope and pray that they make it safely through their own worlds. (With apologies to Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit.)
Ignition 2019's final performance takes place at Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, on May 25th at 4 pm.