Bash: to strike with a crushing or smashing blow; to hurl harsh verbal abuse at; a crushing blow; a thoroughly enjoyable, lively party.
And Devious Theatre Company’s latest production, ‘Bash: Latterday Plays’ by Neil LaBute, will be a mixture of all of the above.
A trio of “three horror stories of everyday evil,” the production starring Amy Dunne, Ken McGuire, John Morton and Annette O’Shea is being staged in Cleere’s from October 17-22.
And although the one-act plays Iphigenia in Orem, A Gaggle of Saints and Medea Redux are all in some way inspired by Greek mythology, they are firmly rooted in the present day.
“Neil LaBute took inspiration from Greek mythology but they are just very loosely based around them and brought into modern-day life,” Annette says. “It isn’t a history lesson but there are those themes in it.”
What the three works do have in common, Amy ads, is that “they all have a kind of horrific incident in them”.
“The whole thing isn’t horrific, but it’s building up to something and you feel that something is going to happen,” she explains. “They all hint at something really horrible.”
But the key thing about them, she says, is that “they’re all normal people.”
“The whole thing reflects on how ordinary people can do extraordinary things,” Annette adds. “They are people you could pass on the street and you wouldn’t think they were capable of such an act.”
As these stories are told from their point of view, the audience learns the context of their lives, and what drives them to act.
“You get to know what people are like as human beings, what happened to them as a child,” Annette says – and, importantly “if its their fault.”
“It’s giving these people a back story, giving them a chance to say, ‘This is where I came from’,” Amy said.
In discussing his intentions in writing the plays, Neil LaBute referred to the Greek word adakia, a Greek word meaning “world out of balance”, Annette notes.
“That is kind of the idea running through the three plays, that these are characters whose worlds are completely out of balance and it’s the fault of other people, it’s not their fault. And to get their world back in balance they end up doing these crazy things, but to them it makes sense,” she says.
It’s a set of plays that both actresses have wanted to perform for several years, and both are enjoying the chance to expand their repertoire as its Amy’s first time taking on a duologue and Annette’s first time performing an extended monologue.
Yet, Annette says, the writing style itself makes the challenge more manageable.
“It’s so well written that every little tiny word fits in,” she says. “There is a really clear stream of consciousness.”
An insight into the depths of the human mind.
Devious Theatre Company will present ‘Bash: Latterday Plays’ in Cleere’s from October 17-22 at 8pm. Tickets are €12 and can be booked at 056 7762573 and tickets.devioustheatre.com.