Jericho

Jericho is a show about internet journalism, liberal hot takes, and professional wrestling, which is to say that it's managed to be about a lot of my niche interests. It uses the concept of Kayfabe – the division between reality and fiction in the Pro-Wrestling Universe – to tackle ideas of modern media serving as entertainment more than fact, and also as a way for the performers to exist both within and without the story. It’s funny, it’s compellingly performed, and has a strong core, but it struggles to keep its unique mechanic relevant at times, and relies a lot on niche references.

Jericho spans a wide emotional arc in its 45 minute runtime

Jericho, the story, is about a woman working at a nameless one word mega-blog writing a news story about WWE in Ireland, and how she connects that into politics. But Jericho the show is about that story and also about the future, and how it interacts with our present and how we interpret media. That sounds extremely self-serious, but the lead performer, Maeve O’Mahoney, manages to inject a lot of personality into what could have been a self-indulgent script to bring comedy and a pathos out of our main character. From the onstage music manager mocking ASMR YouTube channels to an argument over abortion, Jericho spans a wide emotional arc in its 45 minute runtime, but manages to keep a strong enough narrative flow to justify occasional shifts in tone.

I say this, but that flow halts in the first and last five minutes of the show, where the show stops being a performance, stops being about Kayfabe, and stops even being about characters, but instead becomes an opportunity for the company to monologue about unrelated politics. It takes occasional moments to do this, establishing a weird semi-fourth wall breaking Kayfabe of its own, but the show is much more entertaining in its own story than it is out of it. And while the show has a strong core, good performances, great projections, and good sound, I don’t know whether I liked it because it was exceptional or because it referenced a lot of things I find funny. The audience was laughing consistently, but a lot of my favourite moments were little fan in-jokes. This is partially what keeps it from being great – it’s a show that I would have still liked had those jokes not been there, but would have been much less entertaining as a whole, and if you don’t know the references, it’s like they were never there to begin with.

Reviews by Miles Hurley

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Performances

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The Blurb

Jericho is about pro wrestling and big questions. Is this the best time to be alive? Will racism die out if we wait long enough? Why are "evil" wrestlers always foreign? If you're a young journalist writing fluff pieces about pop-cultural phenomena while the world burns, would it be more ethical to quit and starve instead? And even if it's ethical, is it effectual? Jericho is about bad things happening that a lot of people think are good things (and vice versa). It's also about journalism and treating entertainment like it's politics (and vice versa). #JERICHOplay

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