Monday, October 29, 2012

The Bacon Slicer

I went to the Republic of Ireland for the next play; while I hear a smattering of Northern Irish plays on the BBC, it isn’t often I hear RTÉ plays (although now that I know they’re available online I plan to listen to many more).   To hear recordings of stage plays played back on the radio is fairly common; Lux Radio Theater did something similar in the ‘40s in the US.  However, hearing radio plays recorded live in front of an audience is a more recent phenomenon that seems to be gaining ground.  Tin Can Podcast and the Wireless Theatre Company both offer radio in these kinds of settings.  The Bacon Slicer is one such drama, as part of RTÉ’s Drama on One and Dublin Theatre Festival.  As winner of 2012’s P J O’Connor Award for Radio Drama, I feel it is probably a good gauge for the state of radio drama in Ireland.  As such, with a small cast and a humble setting, I feel as though it’s not trying to do anything revolutionary—yet it is the kind of play you really want to listen to all the way through.  

The Bacon Slicer by Andrew Fox is a simple story of two middle-aged friends, Brian (Owen Roe) and Declan (Donal O’Kelly), enjoying a drink one evening, with occasional contributions from Brian’s elderly mother (Eileen Coglan).  Declan’s wife is being unfaithful to him, and Brian and his mother have a rather unusual way of wanting to deal with the situation.  I won’t say more in order to preserve the suspense and humor for you, but it is an enjoyable play.  Foley sounds are created in situ (as they would have been during OTR’s heyday, as recently exploited by the Fitzrovia Radio Hour) and scene transitions are provided by Little John Nee’s music.

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