The Importance of Nothing
The Everyman, Cork, Apr 9th-11th; Belltable, Limerick, Apr 13th-14th
How does an experimental theatre company view the theatrical canon? In the case of Pan Pan Theatre Company it’s usually as a jumping off point for negotiations. Revived from its 2016 debut for a national tour, director Gavin Quinn’s approach to Oscar Wilde, who famously declared all art to be “quite useless”, now puts the man to a very specific use. Here Wilde becomes the subject of an anti-homophobic workshop in an imaginary prison, where inmates explore and repurpose his life and work to suit their own expression.

That process archly mirrors Pan Pan’s, finding a rigorous understanding of the man and the material to create fractured, freewheeling and rough edged equivalents. If that sounds weightily conceptual, it is: Wilde, always glittering and coded, is here translated in the discussions and enactments of Mark O’Halloran, Alan Bennett and Dylan Tighe, into something coarser and much more overt. That may be our understanding of Wilde, though, whose gossamer and artificial comedies now feel shackled by his all-too real tragedy.


Credit – original post here