Bird With Boy
Kilmainham Gaol ***** Five stars

September 17, 2011

Six young boys haunt the basement of Kilmainham Gaol. They run down the candle-lit corridors, jumping walls from one chamber into another. Outside, in the moonlight, they run to the gaol's huge stone walls with their arms spread like wings, casting shadows several times their size.

Back inside, a man is falling down a winding iron stairwell. Then he is falling up it. A bird, in the form of a woman, struggles to take flight. In a snow-drenched room, she wrestles with another woman-bird for control. A dead rabbit hangs upside down in one alcove. A living child hangs upside down in the next. The narrative for Bird With Boy is inconsequential.

Combining a stunning set design with live music and dance, Junk Ensemble has served up a treat that transcends lateral thinking. Beautiful, delicate, superb; you'd be lucky to see it.

Eithne Shortall