A tour-de-force performance from Olwen Fouéré, RIVERRUN, adaptated from Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, is extraordinary in every way.
Fouéré draws out the voice of the Liffey river, and turns it into a poem as much about sound as it is about Joyce’s words. Her river is thrillingly alive, rapping out the slang of sailors and advertising slogans for Pears Soap and Lockton Salts as it bisects Dublin.
Fouére herself seems to float in the complete darkness of the theatre and stage, standing on a cloud of white powder, giving her the disconcerting appearance of being at once close and far away, vast and tiny. Her androgynous appearance lends a further air of unreality, and one could actually believe they were looking at a spirit, stepping out of the water and confronting us in a language we struggle to understand.
Much like its source, RIVERRUN is not going to suit those who prefer a linear narrative, but as a piece of art, it’s truly remarkable.
Words: Caroline Whitham
RIVERRUN, Traverse Theatre, Jul 29 – 19:00, Aug 2 – 17:00, Aug 3, 8, 14, 20 – 20:45, Aug 5, 10, 16, 22 – 12:45, Aug 7, 13, 19, 24 – 18:00, Aug 9, 21 – 10:00