When two actors had a dance at a party at Fr Ted star Pauline McLynn’s house, it sparked an idea that lead to the comedy/drama which will be gracing the stage at Newbridge’s Riverbank this Friday.
Actress Janet Moran’s twirl around the floor in the arms of Steve Blount was “one of the best dances she ever had in her life,” said Peter Daly, director of Fishamble’s Swing.
The memory of the dance, and the sense that it could be a “story waiting to be told”, stuck with Moran. She subsequently developed it as a piece for last year’s Dublin Fringe Festival’s ‘Show In A Bag’ initiative, where it won the Bewley’s Little Gem Award. Co-written with Blount, Daly and Gavin Kostik, and produced by Marketa Dowling, Swing takes place over five scenes at a local dance studio.
Moran plays May, a terrified young woman, who thought dancing was something she’d never do, but has talked herself into taking the classes while her boyfriend is away.
Blount plays an older man, Joe, whose business and marriage has collapsed. Having observed activities such as yoga and theatre taking place in the hall across the road, he signs up for a class to pick himself up and restart his life after some dark years.
The play is a comedy drama about being brave while having doubts and not being afraid to try out new things.
“It’s about what happens when people are thrown together in learning how to dance,” said Daly.
The show uses the dance class set-up as a metaphor for other things in life. “It’s scary but it looks like there could be a reward at the end of it,” said Daly.
Neither actor is a professional dancer, and the show takes them on their journey from being not very good on the floor to swing dancing with the best of them.
The show is also a comedy that packs in a lot of laughs into a short period on stage.
Swing is at the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge this Friday, July 11, at 8pm.
Tickets are €16/€14 concession, and can be booked at www.riverbank.ie or by calling 045 448330.