Beneath the perfect curls, poodle socks and heavy velvet costumes is the comfort and security of traditional Irish dancing. The steps are set, the music is paced with a metronome, there is a format, it’s almost mathematical so there is obviously a structured route to win on a competitive level, isn’t there?

Humours of Bandon is a coming of age story that follows Annie as she progresses at competitive Irish dancing at a pivotal time when she starts to question the direction of her life and how dancing will fit into that.

The cast consists entirely of Margaret McAuliffe. She is brilliant as the teenage Annie, hilarious as Annie’s mother, serious and strict as dance teacher Assumpta and loyal to a fault as Annie’s best friend. McAuliffe seamlessly switches throughout to cover all sides of the conversation without missing a beat, managing to fill what should be an empty stage with her riveting performance.

A humorous story, an uplifting performance and a final dance that is fully charged with emotion, Humours of Bandon is the perfect storm. It’s a reminder of what it’s like to be a teenager and a lesson in following your heart told through monologues, conversations, tantrums and, of course, dance.

If you love to dance just purely for the sake of dancing then go and see this show. McAuliffe is worth it and we should all benefit from remembering that you should dance to the beat of your own drum – or metronome in this case.

Words: Zoe Atherfold

Picture: Maria Falconer

Humours of Bandon, Dance Base, Aug 4-27 (not 7, 14, 21), 6.30pm

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