Friday, 11 December 2015

Comedy Nights in Belfast. From: Culture HUB Magazine, Issue Six.

Comedy Nights in Belfast

From: Culture HUB Magazine, Issue Six.


Your twelve year old daughter wants Miley Cyrus concert tickets, your twenty year old son is back from university with a new tattoo, that uncle has drank too much whiskey again and if your mother in law doesn’t stop criticizing your cooking it’s her who is going in the oven.  Christmas is supposed to be the season to be jolly but in reality it’s the season for arguing. Tinderbox have depicted this atmosphere in “All Through the House” which gives an alternative perspective of a typical family Christmas doing.  The production is written by Judith King and directed by Patrick J O’Reilly and runs at the Crescent Arts Centre from December 4th - 19th.


But there is one day in the festive calendar that especially makes you feel like shaving all your hair off Britney Spears style - Yes Christmas Eve! Written by Marie Jones and directed by Dan Gordon “Christmas Eve Can Kill You” is showing in the Lyric Theatre from the 24th November - 10th January. The play is set in Christmas Eve 1992 Belfast  and tells the story of a number of dubious characters who are not in the mood for Christmas, and those who are, tend to be merry.


One thing we will certainly be eating a lot of over Christmas is cake! And one of the most controversial subjects of 2015 was the “gay cake”.  Deborah Frances-White, the star of BBC 4’s “Role the Dice” will be coming to the Black Box on December 1st, with “Friend of a Friend of Dorothy” (a “friend of Dorothy” is gay slang for a gay man, for anyone unfamiliar with the term). Deborah will be portraying her life with the gays and girls through her sui generis combination of stand-up, storytelling and improvisation.


Another issue linked to this that has also been a “hot topic” in 2015 was Marriage Equality. Panti Bliss became a major figurehead of the republic’s successful “Yes Campaign” after a speech she made about homophobia was described as “the most eloquent Irish speech” in 200 years by Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole and  went viral as a result. Panti Bliss will be coming to the Mandela hall on December with her critically acclaimed show “High Heels in Low Places.”  The stand-up performance is about her life post “Pantigate”.  Although the show may be crude as Panti is sure to say the unsayable, there is a hidden message of liberty and individualism.


Another comedian who is not afraid to say the unsayable is Jake O'Kane who will imprisoned in the Crumlin Road Gaol on the 2nd and 3rd of January. Jake will be reviewing the event that enfolded in 2015 and takes no prisoners as he opines his views of the year in his stand up show “Gagging on it”.


If you are gagging for a unique comedy performance then Wonder Frog is your ticket. Wonder Frog is a 6-person improv comedy group based in Belfast. The group uses only the audience's suggestions for performing comic scenes and therefore the performance is always completely original and authentic.  The show is a kin to “Whose line is it Anyway?”, being composed of various games. Wonder Frog performs at the Black Box every month - the next performance being December 16th.


“Comedy Live” is one of Northern Ireland's best kept comedy secrets and is on the first Thursday of every month in Mc Hugh’s bar basement. 3rd December will see Michael Ledge take to the stage. Michael has supported many comedy greats on tour such as Alexei Sayle, Stewart Lee and Dylan Moran. He's a team captain on the Sony award winning podcast “Do The Right Thing” and is known as a "grump". So if you are a pessimist with a dry sense of humour this will float your boat.  


Christmas may be a time of stress and arguments, but one thing you cannot argue about is that there are plenty of comedy nights in Belfast. So if you are feeling stressed out come see one of these comedy gigs and you’re sure to have a merry time.


Adam Henry Magee


Check out Culture HUB if you are doing your Christmas Shopping in Belfast and Greater Belfast!


Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Independent - “Tories to kick children out of family council homes if parents die.” Should your parents not have to have owned their house before you inherit it?

The Independent - “Tories to kick children out of family council homes if parents die.” Should your parents not have to have owned their house before you inherit it?

On my facebook I noticed a group called “The last person to enter parliament with honest intentions was Guy Fawkes” shared an article written by “The Independent” entitled “Tories to kick children out of family council homes if parents die” which was efficacious in producing opprobrium among  young left-wing  facebook users(most likely prior to actually reading the article!), who could not wait to show dismay at anything Tory.  I however, knew instantly that this was speculative journalism and clicked on the link to read up on the topic - what a misleading title it was.
    The government IS taking away children's rights to stay inherently in their families council homes after their parents die. This seems awful at first, but then think about it again- it is council homes, the parents did not own the homes thus it is not their childrens to inherit! I doubt that many children whose parents die and who owned their house get to live in it afterwards also. Council housing should be allocated on needs - not on who has lived in it previously!
    These sorts of articles and the sharing of them infuriates me as they are purely written with subterfuge in attempt to bring down the conservatives. People share the articles just because it mentions the conservatives and something negative about there - were they never taught to not judge a book by its cover? What also has annoyed me about this article in particular is because it is from a highly venerated publication “The Independent”, which from its name implies it has no political agenda however this sort of an article would make you question just how independent “The Independent” really is?

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Culture Hub Magazine.

Check out Culture Hub magazine, if you are doing your Christmas Shopping in Belfast and Greater Belfast! I've written about comedy events in Northern Ireland! 

Friday, 4 December 2015

Will The Pro-Refugee Protesters Practice What They Preach?

Will The Pro-Refugee Protestors Practice What They Preach?

N.B. I personally am not anti-refugee/immigration, but I believe what the government is doing to help is enough. 

Belfast Anti-Fascists, a “ broad collective of left-wing activists dedicated to pro-actively confronting fascism/racism, both physically & political” are organizing a pro-refugee protest named “Refugees Welcome, Bigots Not”. The organizers have made a spurious claim that the media, in particular right-wing has “seized on the opportunity to turn this tragedy of the millions of people being displaced and imply that the innocent people fleeing conflict are terrorists”.

The paradox of how left-wing supporters manage to make claims of what right-wing publications write without reading one is fascinating. I am reader of the Daily-Mail and The Times, which are supposedly right wing newspapers, but I am yet to read an article stating that all refugees are terrorists. However by educating myself by reading newspapers, I am aware that ISIS are a terrorist organization that is based in Syria and Iraq and a lot of the refugees at present are from Syria and Iraq and therefore there is a possibility that some of the refugees are members of ISIS and therefore possibly terrorists.  Isn’t it ironic how left-wingers criticize right-wing publications for manipulating facts and figures to scare the public, however on the other hand the left-wingers subterfuge also by exaggerating what the right-wingers claim?

The possibility of terrorists is only one reason why people do not support refugees. The other problem is economical; the economy can arguably not support the large influx of refugees. Yes, the UK is a first world country but that does not mean the UK does not have problems. People point to austerity, the cuts being made to the NHS, cuts being made to education, the housing crisis, falling of living standards and the unemployment problem. These problems could become worse with more people on benefits, more sick people needing help from the NHS, more people requiring housing and more children needing to go to school.  Yes the UK can help the refugees, however not with grave sacrifice.

Some people are wealthy enough to be in a position to help refugees without it having a significant impact to the quality of their lives. Like  Sir Bob Geldof, who claimed after seeing the picture of the three-year-old Syrian boy’s body washed up on a Turkish beach, that he would happily provide refuge for three families: “‘I’m prepared – I’m lucky, I’ve a place in Kent and a flat in London – me and (partner) Jeanne would be prepared to take three families immediately in our place in Kent and a family in our flat in London, immediately, and put them up until such time as they can get going and get a purchase on their future.” However, has Geldof practiced what he preached? No. It has been three months, and there has not been a single refugee family moved into the Geldof palace, never mind three.

So this is what I pose to the pro-refugee protesters on Saturday - practice what you preach. If you want to welcome refugees - sign up to do so. If you want to make sacrifices for more refugees, then you are welcome to do so.  So you can’t go out this Saturday for your friend’s Birthday - that £50 needs to be saved for the Refugees. You can’t get the new IPAD from for Christmas - tell Santa Claus you are spending that money on refugees. You can’t buy new make-up - the Refugees won’t care if the person helping them looks like Shriek. And no you can’t go to Ibiza this summer - the Refugees don’t like Techno.

Do I think most of the protesters on Saturday will actually make any personal sacrifices in order to accommodate Refugees? No. Do I think they are going to create a huge mess costing the council lots of money, go for a drink after and approbate each other on how morally superior they are to right-winged folks for taking part. Yes.

Adam Henry Magee

 Inline image 1

Friday, 27 November 2015

How the six political aims of the Women’s Equality Party are not only outdated but are ridiculous. Women are no longer victims; they are becoming the villains!

How the six political aims of the Women’s Equality Party are not only outdated but are ridiculous. Women are no longer victims; they are becoming the villains!

Taylor Swift was the highest earning musician last year and it is likely the next president of the United States will be female yet the formation of the Women’s Equality Party this year shows that some women still believe that feminism has a mandate.  Feminism died in the 1980s when Baroness Thatcher was in power, the head of the monarch was female and Whitney Houston and Madonna were dominating the charts.  Feminism has since lost its mandate and therefore there was nor prerequisite for the creation of a women's equality party. The tardiness of the party’s creation can be exemplified through the scrutinizing the parties political objections.
1.     Equal Representation in politics and business - the party aims to introduce quotas as a vice to increase female representation
Quotas used as a vice to increase female representation are arguably undemocratic. It is through democracy that politicians are elected; forcing more females to be elected would be unfair to male candidates who constituents may have rather elected. One could argue that this is due to the “turnout gap”: in the UK 64% of women voted in the past general election compared in 67% of men. However in the USA it is the opposite, in the 2012 presidential elections 63.7% of ladies voted compared to only 59.8% of men. The percentage of female voters in the UK peaked in 1992 and has been in decline since, which is coincidentally shortly after Baroness Thatcher resigned; perhaps the female vote in the USA will peak after the first female president has been established.
            Margaret Thatcher being the longest serving elected prime minister illustrates that there are no barriers or constraints placed on woman from entering politics or business. Ironically Baroness Thatcher was no feminist but an advocate of meritocracy; Edwina Currie was Thatcher's only cabinet member and she also expressed great discontent to the equality bill when it was first proposed.  
            Men are underrepresented in fields such as beauty and nursing however there is little to nothing done to encourage men choosing these career paths. In schools the amount of bullying male students receives if they choose to study a subject like drama or home economics would not even be comparable to a girl choosing politics or business. Girls are encouraged to take part in sports such as football but it’s still frowned upon if your son is a ballet dancer.
2.  Equal Representation - the party wants to a)challenge the “gendered choices about subjects and careers that help entrench the pay gap”. b)“teach mutual respect in sexual relationships and tackle the underlying causes of violence against women and girls”.
There is a great deal of attention given to violence towards women by men but no apparent attention for the opposite. Although the number of violent incidents reported against women by men is greater than that of the opposite, it is exactly that: what is reported. Men may be less inclined to want to report an incident of domestic abuse because they feel embarrassed or because of the perceived bias against men in the judiciary system: that men are pugnacious and will have instigated the woman to attack them. The reluctance of men to report sexual violence towards them means it is very difficult to accurately compare this to that against women.
            A lot of criticism has been given to young men embracing “Lad Culture” as it is argued to encourage sexism. “Lad Culture” is seen on university campuses were male students play pranks on female students which at times could be perceived as sexual harassment. Although, it would be a lie to state that females are not involved in this sort of behaviour also; I personally have had my shirt ripped off me twice in clubs, imagine if this was done to a girl and the uproar it would cause - the boy could end up in jail!
3. Equal Pay- on average women are paid 81% of what a man is paid, the party wants to equalize this.
The gender pay gap is not as simple as it appears. Women are not always discriminated against in the workforce due to their sex. Women in their 20s are in fact earning more than men their age and women in their 30s are close to eclipsing men their age also. The average age for women to have their first child is 29.8 and this is the reason why after their 30s women earn less. It is not because they have children, but because of the time taken off to have a child. If a woman had two children in their 30s and took a year off each time, they are two years behind their rival male colleagues. In those two years time technology could have changed; new members of staff employed; new rules and regulations; new office; new syllabus and a large amount of other changes could have taken place within a workplace or industry that the mother will be behind on when they return to work.
            It is only natural that the male workforce will on average have more skills and experience at this point. It is fair that pay is awarded on meritocracy and meritocracy alone, thus the end result is the men end up earning more. It may not seem fair, however at the same time women are not forced to have children and on the other hand there are probably men who would like to have children but cannot; swings and roundabouts.
4. Equal Media treatment by women - the party wants to fight against the “false” image portrayed of women in the media. They also claim that women’s sporting victories are ignored by the media.
Sex sells and it is not just women who are sexualised by the media. Abercrombie for example would not be so successful without their shirtless six-packed male shop assistants. There are no fat male celebrities endorsing male perfumes or underwear instead we have David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo or Ryan Reynolds, because they are sexy, men idolize them and thus will by the products.
            The reason why the beauty and fashion industry uses slim, tall and attractive looking women in their adverts known as “models” is because they sell the product. For example a woman is not going to want to purchase a makeup product if the model is ugly; the product is meant to make them pretty and hence why a pretty model is used. Slim models are using for clothes because clothing is meant to be flattering to one’s body shape, and if a fat model is used the consumer will think that product will make them so. There is no way this will change and it would be very illogical for a business to do so.
            To claim that women's sporting achievements are ignored is preposterous. Who was the face of the London 2012 Olympics? Jessica Ennis. Who is it that we all watch every year in Wimbledon - the Williams sisters. The reason why men earn more in sports to put frankly is because men are better than women at them - hence why they separate the sexes. For example the Williams sisters in 1998 claimed they could beat any man outside the top 200 in the world, Karsten Braasch (ranked 203rd at the time) challenged them in the Australian open that year. Braasch was described by one journalist as “ a man whose training regime cent red around a pack of cigarettes and more than a couple of bottles of ice cold lager”, however he beat both sisters in straight sets. If payment in sports was based completely on meritocracy arguably then Serena Williams the world number 1 should be earning less than any man in the top 200.
5. Equal Parenting and Care giving - the party argues that the responsibilities of parenthood are not shared equally and that caring for elderly relatives usually falls on women which hold women back in the workforce.
Although it seems surprising that the party has given thought to how men are in some roles arguably undermined, equal paternal leave on the other hand is not practical or necessary.  Maternal leave causes great annoyance to businesses due to the cost to give men equal leave would destroy the economy, as small businesses would be unable to cope! Part of the reason why women are granted maternal aside from bonding time with their child is because they are supposed to breast feed.  Women are suggested to strictly breastfed for at least 6 months, as men do not have breasts they are not required to do so.
            Care of elderly parents is something which I believe all children should take part in (if possible), however one cannot force one child to help more than the other and it would also be impossible to monitor. It is argued by nature women are more caring than men, and therefore it is arguably more natural for women to be a carer.
6. End Violence Towards Women - the party states on their website: “it is a stain on our society that women can be murdered, violated, assaulted, or oppressed because of their gender”
Generally speaking people are not violent towards each randomly or purely because of their gender; there is normally a reason for the assault. Domestic violence normally occurs due to an argument which can happen to anyone regarding of their age, gender or sexuality (as noted early it is difficult to quantify the amount of attacks on men and therefore difficult to compare).
            On a whole Great Britain is becoming a less violent nation, however the percentage of violent offences carried out by women is on the increase! Which on the contrary indicates that violent acts carried out by men has peaked and is decreasing, showing that men have learnt their lesson whilst women haven’t. Is this perhaps something to with the fact women are not as punished as men? Across all crimes women get off more lightly than men, women account for 15% for all arrests but only 5% of the prison population.
            One of the party's main aims is to stop street harassment, but when the obloquy of man can occur due to an innocuous compliment on “Linkedln”, a man must be terrified to be nothing but punctilious. Maybe men shouldn’t try and compliment women and insult them instead, maybe then they will complain less.

Through scrutiny of the party’s aims it has become apparent that women are not hard done by any more in British Society. In fact you could argue the opposite that men are now the victims, which could be linked to the fact that over 70% of suicide victims in the UK are male. The party claims to be an equality party “for the better of everyone”, however if it’s not obvious from the parties title, it is obvious from their political objectives that they are a feminist party as their main prerogative is that of the equality of women. There is no mandate for a feminist party in the UK, feminists need to open their vitriolic eyes and stop pretending that women are guileless victims but are becoming cunning villains instead.
Adam Henry Magee

Inline image 1

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Petition in Regards to Dr. Finbar Magee.

Please sign the following petition, so that the doctor can go back to helping people and saving people's lives. People should have complete autonomy in regards to their health. The decision is completely undemocratic, unfair and callous.

Dr. Magee studied medicine and was a GP before going on to study other varieties of medicine out of interest and investigation including Chinese medicine, homeopathy, herbal, nutritional and environmental medicine. I wonder why he's been a medical adviser for 2 premiership football clubs and others were head hunting him but he declined despite the money they were offering? Good to see people are supporting him and can see through things.

You can read an article wrote about the decision here:

And Information about synergy helathcare and Dr. Magee here:

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Changing the colour of your profile picture to show support for a cause? - What is the point? If want to be supportive, be supportive!

Changing the colour of your profile picture to show support for a cause? - What is the point? If want to be supportive, be supportive!

Last night (I’m sure every knows), there was a brutal terrorist attack in Paris. Along with different people opining via social media there was also a plethora of people changing the color of their Facebook profiles to the colours of the french flag, in order to show support for the Parisians. This act is reminiscent of how recently people have changed the colour of their Facebook profile to a rainbow to show support of LGBT rights.

Changing the colour of your profile picture seems to me a fatuous, attention-seeking act - it screams to me “look how good of a person I am” and makes me question whether the person authentically supports the cause or just wants to be perceived as supporting it and receive approbation for doing so. Maybe everyone is not as critical or pessimistic as myself but realistically: does changing your profile picture make victims of that cause feel more supported? Probably not.

I was very bullied growing up in every aspect of my life. I was an easy target - mixed race, “posh”, ballet and Irish dancer and was quite effeminate. The place where I received the most bullying like a lot of other victims was school. It started happening when I moved school from St. Brides in south Belfast to St. Joseph's in East Belfast, but it was the worst in secondary school in Our Lady and St. Patrick's College Knock. I was probably one of the most, if not the most bullied person in the year or possibly the entire school - you name it they did it to me: name calling, physical bullying, spitting, rumor spreading and stealing.

One of the biggest bullying tactics they used was homophobic bullying - they bullied me because I acted in ways and took part in activities which were not perceived as normal for a boy to do. Out of the 200 people in my year I would say about 90% of them were involved in some stage and sadly enough teachers did not seem to want to intervene - actually some of them seemed to encourage it.  

Out of all the people who use to bully me, I can count with my fingers how many of them have been contrite and apologized to me . It was  therefore quite shocking for me to witness the amount of people on Facebook changing their profile pictures to show support of LGBT rights. Yes, I understand they may not be homophobic anymore but it does not change that they were a perpetrator in the past.  

Instead of changing the colours of your profile picture to show support, do something about it. If you want to show support to LGBT apologize to those you use to bully because of their perceived sexuality and stand up for people who are at the end of bullying in the future. Actions speak louder than words, but words speak louder than changing your profile picture.

Adam Henry Magee

Inline image 1

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Is Gentrification a Myth?

Is Gentrification a Myth?
  • We are constantly fed information on how gentrification is ruining neighborhoods and causing great distress to local households. But the facts and figures suggest the opposite is true.
  • 'Gentrification' is a word used by left-wingers to scare people about the effects of innovation, enterprise and evolution.
Two Saturdays ago a large of anti-gentrification protesters attacked the UK's first and only cereal cafĂ©, in Shoreditch, a “hip” area in East London. The “Cereal Killer Cafe” is propertied by two working class brothers from Belfast both past pupils of  Grosvenor Grammar school in east Belfast.  Why has this cafe garnered such fierce animosity to the extent that a violent protest occurred? A backlash against gentrification is believed to be the root cause.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, gentrification is the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class tastes.  'Gentrifiers' are often wealthy individuals who mould run-down urban areas to suit middle class standards and tastes, and it can be argued that  such changes displace the existing population of the area. The locals feel alienated by their new surroundings, believing that the area  has lost its soul and culture.

However, after conducting fairly extensive research, I have found that a lot of the claims over the negative effects of “gentrification” are fictitious or at least highly-exaggerated. Anti-gentrification activists argue, for example, that it results in local households feeling displaced and having to relocate when studies have shown the opposite. A study undertaken by Columbia University in 2007 showed that disadvantaged households in gentrifying neighborhoods were actually 15% less likely to relocate than in households in non-gentrifying neighborhoods.
It is argued that gentrification causes the area to become populated by the white middle and upper class. However, statistics show the depopulation of black households in cities often started before the 'gentrifiers' arrived; for example in Washington the black population peaked in 1970 and has been declining ever since - long before any gentrification occurred.
Research undertaken by Columbia University in 2009 found that diversity in gentrified neighborhoods had in fact increased in terms of income, race and education. A study in 2009 by the Journal of Urban Economics found no direct link between black  families' displacement and gentrification: the overriding factor was  educational attainment - or lack of. Gentrification was found to be  largely beneficial to educated black households and thus appeals to these families. Uneducated black families, on the other hand,  were pushed out of their neighborhoods. It is obvious that  this is not a direct effect of gentrification but a problem with education in general, which is the government's responsibility and cannot be blamed solely on 'gentrifiers'.
Often very general anti-gentrification statements are postulated which are not backed up by any concrete evidence; for example Will Harvey writing for “The Guardian” opined: “Property developers and private landlords are making millions forcing these children and families out of their homes, often through violent evictions, and they are regularly moved into inadequate temporary accommodation and sometimes on to the streets. Many parents in the area suffer the indignity of relying on foodbanks to feed their children while the new Shoreditch residents can make a successful business selling children’s cereal for £5 a bowl.” Where is the evidence for these statements? Who are these families and landlords? Although he states that “some 49% of the children in the borough live below the poverty line”, he does not state what this figure was prior to gentrification and therefore cannot lay the blame for such apparent poverty on those who are trying to improve the area.

The areas were “run-down” to begin with, so it seems illogical that the locals would they complain if something new and fresh was happening in their area. 'New locals' may well be interested in making a living for themselves but the on-going effect is the provision of more exciting opportunities for the established population.  New businesses provide more job opportunities which in turn benefits the local economy. Research published by the Journal of Urban Economics in 2010 and the Regional Science and Economics Journal in 2011 showed that gentrification had a positive effect on the income of households which did not relocate and further had a positive effect on housing satisfaction.
This regeneration and development creates an atmosphere of excitement and innovation; there is no need for local young people to feel “stuck in the ghetto” because the ghetto is now a thriving part of town.  The young people can experience how you can change something run-down into something great and use this in their own lives. Research conducted by “Governing” found that, compared to areas which had failed to gentrify in the USA, there had been a decrease in the poverty line. Thus gentrification is not something that should be feared but something that should be embraced.
So who were these anti-gentrification protesters who showed up on the doorstep of an innovative business to intimidate and humiliate its owners and customers? They were nothing but a bunch of spoilt wasters who were jealous of other people’s success. Perhaps if they were not protesting they could instead be enterprising and reap the rewards on offer. The facts and figures show there is no logical reason to be anti-gentrification; perhaps gentrification is not an actual concept but is just simply business people demonstrating enterprise - just what our country and the world needs.
Adam Henry Magee

Inline image 1

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Argumentum ad Nauseam

Argumentum ad Nauseam

Argumentum ad Nauseam or the argument by repetition is the logical fallacy  that if a lie is repeated frequently it will become true. It is frequently used in politics, Joseph Goebbels who was the reich minister of propaganda for Nazi Germany stated: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Although what Goebbels described is a technique employed in politics, this concept is used in all other walks of life. Unfortunately humans are very gullible and are willing to believe almost anything especially if it’s something negative about someone. I have come to realize recently how I have been the victim of this. Some of lies that have been told about me in different areas in my life have been farcical.

I believe this is what has happened to me a lot in my life however is not specific to myself. From my experience what I have learnt is when someone is telling you something think about whether or not they have an agenda - are they trying to conceal the truth? have they had a disagreement with someone? do they want to stop someone being successful? are they jealous of this person?

If they do have an agenda then I leave you with this quote:

“Just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.” - Criss Jami.

Adam Henry Magee

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Shh! We have a Plan | Review

From: CultureHUB  online Magazine. 
Shh! We have a Plan | Review
Cahoots NI  | The Lyric Theatre, 14 October ’15
The play follows three men on their quest to catch a beautiful bird they spotted on a large tree, using a variety of methods to catch it. The trio withdraw a number of instruments from what seems to be a bottomless anorak, which amused the children in the audience greatly. From what started up as a simple quest to catch the bird, becomes an obsession. As an adult, I thought the play had a complexity to it, that required thought, consideration and imagination; however, I found myself enchanted for the 40 minutes in an Alice in Wonderland-like world. The performance was almost hypnotic with the contrasting use of lighting, the dark blue set and the fluorescent birds.
The costuming and stage were minimalist and the play contained no speech; I didn’t realise this beforehand, though I should’ve taken a hint from the title “Shh!”. Like the book, the play is intended for children, and this is probably the reason why the absence of dialogue or verbal narration works. I had forgotten how many young children’s television programmes that have little or no speech, for example “Bill and Ben: The Flowerpot Men.” I found this very peculiar as an adult as I normally enjoy articulation and dialogue; children are more visual and can be easily entertained without language. This is why Shh! is successful as a production.
Both children and adult audience members were laughing throughout and obviously found it thoroughly entertaining. From an adult’s point of view, I don’t think it will be everyone’s “cup of tea”.  For a young audience,  this story, comprised of magic, music and puppetry is a mesmerising theatre experience.
Adam Henry Magee