Beowulf. The man, the myth, the legend. The single father battling the unrelenting dragon. The storyteller telling his most important tale. Featuring an international cast of characters, brimming with battles, blood and behemoths, “Beowulf: The Blockbuster” is a heroic tale of boys becoming men becoming fathers. Of making life a story worth telling and of knowing all stories must come to an end. Excellently written and exquisitely performed, “Beowulf: The Blockbuster” is a one-man tour de force that is heartbreakingly and hilariously brilliant.
Set in the early eighties “Beowulf: The Blockbuster” recounts the relationship between a father and son who share a passion for big, blockbuster movies. Skiving off to see Superman, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, father and son are inseparable as they wash dishes together, go to the beach together and share stories at bedtime. But the best story ever is that of Beowulf which has secrets and memories hidden within and which, in the dark of the telling, reveals true heroes are those who face so much alone yet always dig deep for that little bit more courage.
Written and performed by Bryan Burroughs, “Beowulf: The Blockbuster” is an astonishing testament to the power of physical theatre, to the one-man performance and to Burroughs’ consummate skill. Like his omniscient narrator, Burroughs is everywhere and everyone, shifting seamlessly between perfectly crafted, physical articulations personifying a multitude of characters. Developed and directed by David Horan, Horan mines simplicity to incredible effect. A suggestive design by Maree Kearns captures the cinematic sweep of the blockbuster, assisted by Kevin Smith’s excellent lighting design, which wonderfully evokes mood and place, be it the fury of a raging battle or the fear of a darkened room. Sound design by Philip Stewart references John Williams to excellent effect, knowing when to sweep in, to stir gently or step back and let the silence work.
Presented by Pat Moylan, “Beowulf: The Blockbuster” returns to Dublin for a limited, two week run. Having taken its first breath as part of Fishamble’s ‘Show in a Bag’ production in September 2013 at the Dublin Fringe Festival, it has since gone on to win awards and audiences internationally, becoming one of the must see shows at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014. And deservedly so. Setting an old stone to a new purpose, “Beowulf: The Blockbuster” takes a classic tale and recreates it as a classic theatrical experience. Like all life’s great stories, miss it and you’ll regret it for the rest of your days.
“Beowulf: The Blockbuster” written and performed by Bryan Burroughs runs at The Project Arts Centre until November 21st.
For times and tickets visit The Project Arts Centre