BEHIND THE SCENES WITH SINGLEHOOD
My_Project blogger Nicole popped in to rehearsals for Singlehood, find out how she got on here.
MY_PROJECT BLOG - SINGLEHOOD
My_Project blogger Nicole Flattery popped in to rehearsals for PROJECT CATALYST Una McKevitt's upcoming show Singlehood for a sneak peak at the action. You can catch Singlehood at Project Arts Centre as part of ABSOLUT Fringe from 17 - 22 September.
Find out more about the show here.
In the spirit of honesty, the cast which make up Una McKevitt’s new theatrical venture are fiercely upfront about their personal lives. “I was riding rings around myself” announces one lothario as he happily tells us how he spent his time after his three-year relationship ended, “Sure, some days I didn’t even bother putting my jeans on.” McKevitt and co. are of the belief that the tragedy of singlehood isn’t that we all hate it-the real tragedy is that we don’t ever properly discuss it. It’s considered to be almost uncivilized, one of those sad states we associate with chords-wearing agoraphobics or lumpen, older ladies.
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Singledom is only ever acceptable if accompanied by some good jokes. If you have a nice shtick complete with some light hearted self-deprecation and a few “I’m desperate, I am” asides then you may escape relatively unscathed. To suggest that you enjoy it is rather brazen. To suggest that you enjoy it in front of coupled-up friends is to leave a bitter taste, one that will have them searching for chords-wearing agoraphobics or lumpen, older ladies to whom they can partner you and rid you of your unusual ‘hobby.’ And naturally, we are all thoroughly indoctrinated. From wimpy, sensitive boy-singers throughout our teenage years to the black hole of love that is Hollywood, we have all been brought up to believe that nobody wants to be alone. You have to wonder why there aren’t more lyrics that take a less extremist approach to romance, that honestly state “Actually, I don’t really mind being without my beloved. I quite like the peace and quiet and I get a lot more done around the house.” It is this very honesty which pervades Singlehood leading to a frank, full and very funny discussion of what it means to be single.
The team behind Singlehood has wisely avoided a number of clichés which may have hampered the cleverness of the production. There are no dowdy Dairy-Milk scoffers, no mention of either Ben or Jerry, no puzzled mid-life crises nor any balding Don Juan’s. This is attributed to McKevitt’s decision to conduct fifty interviews with a range of people and discover more about their relationships with themselves and each other. What emerges is rather complex-a picture of startling clarity in which nearly everyone is confused. They should want a relationship, but they don’t. They do want a relationship, but because they want one not because they need one. They want an open relationship but are worried how that demand might damage their partner. Of course, they must also contend with technology. If dating is a minefield of mistrust and deception, then the Internet is a war zone with no weapons, armory or training. As one character memorably says, “I just want a relationship; I don’t want pictures of dicks.” The truth is, on the Internet, you have very little chance of the former and no defence against the latter.
Singlehood also brilliantly lampoons the insufferable ’Get over it’ relationship advice that springs from the pages of the stupidest magazines and the mouths of your simplest friends. What do you do when your heart is hanging outside your chest? Organise your record collection. Learn to make a lemon soufflé. Walk a dog. Any dog. It doesn’t even have to be your own. Wash your hair in case you meet someone else while walking said dog. Only when heard aloud, does this level of advice move from being faintly ridiculous to absolutely absurd. Interspersing the confessional dialogue are original musical numbers from The Guilty Folk, including the highly complementary opening tune.
The cast, music and naturalistic dialogue all conspire to make Singlehood a stimulating theatrical experience and a must-see for the Fringe. It is said that when it comes to love, art is always a let-down to the real thing. Consider Singlehood a unique combination-art with a more than a little of the real thing.