‘A Boy and A Bean’, by ‘Nick n Tom’ comes direct to Dublin from it’s Mardi Gras award winning performance in Sydney. Following a great tradition of Australian theatre at the festival, ‘ A Boy And A Bean’ is a twist on the classic fairytale ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ set in contemporary Sydney, with a marriage equality message. The story is charmingly delivered by Nick Atkins in an hour of intimate theatre that just flies by. The storytelling is delivered through the eyes of 19 year old Jack, 24 year old David and a Giant whose presence swings from sinister to reality. He cuts to the chase of modern relationships and raises the bar at crucial moments as we skip through a decade of Australian events that progressed and regressed marriage equality.
This modern urban tale also skips through modern day Australian politics (with an explanatory guide) with a timely message for those formulating their campaigns for equality in Ireland next year. It explores the manipulation of the marriage equality debate by religious groups who fundraise to oppose equal marriage via coffee franchises in a strong performance piece that charms, entertains and informs. From the chanteuse/cabaret welcome, to the careful manipulation of a mountain of coffee beans, through to general knowledge trivia, placed in the story to challenge you to be accurate in assessing your own actions in a relationships, this piece does a lot more than campaign for rights. Jack and David are two inadequately prepared young men at its centre and the play reveals all the truth and carelessness along the way to building a meaningful relationship. It is a love story which falls victim to the inadequacies of the boy from Wogga Wogga finding his way in the big city who struggles to find the format for a same sex relationship that works. Atkins is petite and powerful with a diversity of characterisation that sustains this structured piece in a warm and engaging way.
The use of multimedia, sharp technical delivery and an unflagging delivery makes for a charming afternoon of theatre that plays again on Saturday in the New Theatre at 4pm but nightly at 9pm all week until Sunday. This heart-warming tale of two guys, a dog, a beanstalk and an outcome is modern, relevant and thoroughly entertaining.
Festival Review Team