Daylight Robbery – Ofegus Productions
Mill Theatre, Dundrum October 26 – 31st 2015
We arrived to the Mill Theatre out near the cinema in Dundrum Shopping Centre a little bit after 14.30. Thankfully the show had gone up a little bit late so we didn’t miss any of the opening plot which in a kids show is essential to understand the journey. It’s such a lovely theatre and it was nearly a sold out. Given that it’s a 200 seater venue, my hopes were high for Ofegus’s latest production of Daylight Robbery.
As I was late, my friend, the honourable Paul Fox had been waiting by himself for my arrival. He was sitting there in solitary in a leather jacket at the back of a kids show so quickly whistled for my company as soon as I entered.
‘Thank the sweet Lord you’re here man. I looked like a right creep here by meself! I sat down. He seemed really happy for company – can’t imagine why.
So we took in the setting and picture that the directors has created for us and waited to be whisked away to the land of Enchantasia. The stage had lovely lighting and set to it. The music was bright or eery depending on which of the characters were present and the props were everywhere and sparkling. Ahhhh how I missed the Ofegus shows.
We then turned our attention to the story line. It was set in a magical world full of Royalty and assonance. This world, if you have seen any of the company’s other shows, includes a Forbidden Forest, a Chasm of Catastrophes, Witches called Wendy and Winona and lots of other alliterative spells and tricks to keep the imagination of the plot going and the dreams of the child alive and kicking thourghout.
In yesterday’s play, the blasted sun unfortunately had been stolen by the baddies and a daring rescue hunt to retrieve it had to ensue. In other words, A child’s dream adventure had begun and Paul and I were allowed get transported and accompany them there too…
Each child, of which there was maybe 80, recognised that their help was needed to rescue the stolen sun. They shouted helpful words at the actors on stage when they required a hand. Everyone, both young and old, was loving it.
We became familiar with the characters quite easily. Anne Doyle was the lovely albeit stern Princess Angelica. Susan Barrett played Wily Witch and Starika Stormsword. Hilary Bowen-Walsh was the strong Incandesence and Lyra Lightening-Spear. Caoimhe Mulcahy was the beautiful Fairy Christmas and Lady Ember-Glow.
Niamh Hogan, in her ninth show, played Wendy Witch with her naughty broomy to accompany her and she also played Scorch, the fighting minion. Sean Doyle played the cowardly and camp Prince Marmaduke and Duke Percival and Stephen Gorman reprised his role as General Strike. Finally Shane Robinson was cast as the hero General Amnesty and also Singe. And they all did a super job. We weren’t sure if there was a referendum under current but as with the vote, it passed off quite easily.
Paul whispered casually to me, ‘Man don’t fall in love with the fairy’ and sure enough the young fairy dressed in white did resemble my cup of tea. She was a winged fairy who was proficient in spells, a self defense expert, and she pronounces Rainbows exactly the way it should be. She also smashed Hogan in a fight and I know of know mortal who has ever done that given she is an All-Ireland judo chop expert!
Paul, as it happens, even received one of her kicks to the head. It was very funny.
Mulcahy won the hearts of the audience with a friendly, unintimidating smile, a good delivery presence and a strong listening prowess which are all vital for kids show.
I did try to remain objective.
The whole cast though were amazing together and worked well as an ensemble. They are led by the legend that is Niamh Hogan who seemingly demands high kicks and dancing in every rehearsal. I think the pints after shows were missing though as they seemed hesitant to indulge in flaws.
Special mention also goes to Anne Doyle purely for her delivery of the beautiful line: ‘Go away, I never want to see you again’, when the cowardly Prince didn’t show up for her when he needed to. Given it was a simple but important mistake, it showed how she ran the place and how much she demanded of her citizens. It was such a simple yet killer line, that it cut him straight to the core.
Rather than being exiled and deported to Elba, he decided to give up his cowardly ways and become an Royal Airforce officer for the Princess. Now that’s girl power at its finest, and it was a terribly good lesson for any young girl or lady to learn. Boys need to be controlled.
Now I don’t want to give away the ending but rest assured the sun is still shining in the sky today.
Ofegus Theatre company itself is run incredibly well by Niamh Hogan and her very young and pretty morher Leslie Hogan.
This is their ninth show in five years (I may be wrong) which includes a five play repertoire including Daylight Robbery, The Rainbows End, The Ice Witch, The Pirates of something beginning with P amongst others…
They premiered in the 10 Days in Dublin Festival in 2011 and brought that show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Since then they have gone from strength to strength and now Dublin actors are dying to be included in the cast. Children’s Theatre done well is very difficult to beat from a rewardance output perspective for an actors.
The cast remained on stage after the show and took photos with the smaller audience members should they so wish. They obviously did.
It’s really lovely seeing their reactions to having a photo with the Princes’, Princesses and Witches and Generals who had now become their idols. I even spotted the fairy letting an extroverted young lady pose with her wand! How nice to see.
It’s a Five Star show from me. It’s thought-proking, creative, wild and wonderful to watch.
It keeps the kids mesmerized at every moment and they really get into the story and that is what a great kids show should always do.
There’s dancing, fighting and beautiful costumes and a great story to keep attention. In other words there’s something for everyone in it. I would highly recommend this show.
Congratulations to the cast and best of luck with the rest of the run. I hope you finally tour the rest of the paleless, regional Ireland soon.
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