Fringe First-winning Irish theatre company 15th Oak are bringing their show The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle to the Soho Theatre following successful runs in Edinburgh and Dublin. It runs from 2-20 April 2013.
Here the company give us five reasons to go...
1. People seem to like it...
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle has experienced an overwhelmingly positive critical response to each of its runs so far. Having been performed at both the Edinburgh and Dublin Fringe Festival and then a subsequent extra sold-out run in Dublin, the show has received quite glowing reviews from critics:
‘Heart and humour… Intricately plotted but playfully executed... a tight piece of storytelling’ The Scotsman, 4 stars
‘As heart-warming as it is heartbreaking… a magical production.’ The Stage
‘Absolutely unmissable… There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Do not miss it.” entertainment.ie (Theatre Production of the Year 2012)
‘Marvellous... makes the impossible seem effortless... compelling, heart-breaking, outstanding.’ Evening Herald
The play was also recently nominated for Best New Play at the Irish Theatre Awards, shortlisted for the upcoming and prestigious Stewart Parker Awards, and was named in a number of critics Top Ten of the year.
The play comprises a unique, original score, which is part composed and part devised by the multi-talented cast. Populated by a series of unusual instruments and complete with a number of different themes, simultaneously ‘jaunty’ and ‘heartbreaking’, the music makes up one of the main characters of the show and has frequently been singled out as one of the most unique and dynamic aspects of the production. The producers of the play have also promised that it’ll contain the best use of the ‘harmonium’ then any other play in the Greater Soho area that month.
3. It isn’t relentlessly depressing
If you want something that will genuinely make you feel worse about the world and everyone in it, then apparently this isn’t the show for you. Whilst the production most definitely has its moments of downright despair littered throughout it, its tone and central premise of living a wasted life all converge to make something that veers towards optimism. Despite posting Total Recall-like figures for deaths throughout the show, including that of the main protaganist (and that’s really not a spoiler alert - he’s already dead before the play starts), the show ultimately has an uplifting message at the heart of it which has struck a chord with audiences.
4. The Great Irish Writers
Synonymous with the Irish Theatre tradition is 'The Great Irish Writer', coming from the old tradition of storytelling that's engrained in what it is to be Irish. Whilst Ross Dungan will never refer to himself as a great, critics, audiences and the Irish and British media certainly have. Winning Fringe Firsts, nominations for the Irish Theatre Awards and shortlisted for prestigious writer's trusts, Dungan is well on his way to following the path of other household names such as Brian Freil, Martin McDonagh and Enda Walsh. Londoners: you now have a chance to be able to say that yes, you were there, you saw The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle in 2013 in its London premiere.
5. The future of Irish acting
Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, and Fiona Shaw all started somewhere. The next generation of great Irish actors start here, in Eric Argyle. Since the show first played in Dublin, the careers of all the cast members have rocketed. Be it Manus Halligan currently playing in the Irish National Theatre's first production of King Lear in 82 years; Rachel Gleeson starring in the world-wide hit What Richard Did; or Erica Murray being nominated as 'Best Supporting Actress' for Eric Argyle (and thus securing her role in the Irish Premier of Philip Ridley's Tender Napalm) - this is a group of actors making an impact. Yet they have stuck with Eric Argyle through thick and thin, moving heaven, Earth and (and other more contractual obligations!) to be part of the London premiere.
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle runs at the Soho Theatre from 2-20 April.