One Above

A slick absurdist piece, PALP’s One Above is an intelligent offering from the young company. Persons A, B, and C stand before the audience – the scenario opens up as a job interview for the three of them, the questions given by a cool, female voice-over. However, this gradually gives way to a much more personal scrutiny of the three characters, and they all become flustered and confused as they are forced to self-evaluate to the point of a total deconstruction of their personality.

The premise of One Above carries an urgent message about the competitive nature of modern life.

If some of that last sentence went over your head, then be aware that some of the performance will too. One Above knows its audience: switched-on millennials watching the piece will be familiar the most of the modern jargon and trends referenced: web content, mindfulness, neoliberalism. Thanks to the young writers, the vocabulary is spot-on – but a lot of it (and consequently, a lot of the humour of the piece) may well alienate audience members less familiar with the zeitgeist.

That said, the performances are all polished and understated. Fintan Dineen (who also wrote the piece) is an imposing and sickeningly self-important Person A, and Daniel LeCann provides a little reality as the working-class Person C. The standout performance of the piece, however, comes from Eve Perry as Person B. Full of self-doubt, she is likeable and irritatingly fickle all at once, and deservedly gets the most laughs from the audience.

The premise of One Above carries an urgent message about the competitive nature of modern life, but it’s not quite there yet as a piece, both in form and in what point it’s really trying to make. There are some promising moments of direction, such as the characters swapping clothes in an attempt to become more like each other, and the piece is at its best when gunning for laughs – but it ultimately stretches a clever concept out for a little too long, and doesn’t manage to hold its audience for the full length of the performance.

Reviews by Caitlin Hobbs

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Persons A, B and C LTD are three promising modern individuals who are desperate to innovate, adapt and compete for your consumer investment. Not doing so will result in abandonment, so they must keep going whatever the cost. This high octane and original performance by PALP is a savagely humorous response to the crisis of individual identity in a world of instant gratification, one-upmanship and inside-out commodification.

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