Dublin-based theatre group Malaprop’s Jericho attempts to combine wrestling, feminism, journalism and politics into a one-hour show asking life’s big questions.
Irish actress Maeve O’Mahony bounds on stage, walking back and forth and requesting more energetic music from DJ and fellow performer John Gunning. The actress informs her audience that tonight’s production is not named after WWE wrestler Chris Jericho, but instead after the city of Palestine. Projected mouths of her boss and colleagues appear on a screen, which the actress converses with, discussing her article. Alongside this, O’Mahony receives instant messages from her mother, touching upon Ireland’s recent abortion laws.
Malaprop’s production also deals with real news versus the fake, several headlines appearing one by one on the screen. Gunning takes part in some arbitrary ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), loudly crunching on cornflakes. O’Mahony removes her trousers to reveal a wrestling outfit, part of her research as a journalist. She runs across the stage, one end to the other, whilst doing a beep test. At this point, the production feels completely arbitrary, and not very engaging. We see some real-life footage of French literary theorist and philosopher Roland Barthes, who proposed that battles between wrestlers are “the key which opens nature, the pure gesture which separates Good from Evil”. While O’Mahony wrestles with Gunning, the music and lights become too heavy, drowning out what she is stating.
There are some credible parts to Jericho, such as O’Mahony’s liveliness on stage and the build up of tone, but on the whole, the show feels like a jumbled production of subjects, and unfortunately is not as funny as the premise implies.
Photo: Molly O’Cathain
Jericho is at Brick Hall from 6th until 10th February 2019. For further information or to book visit the show’s festival page here.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.