Forever Young – Review

Clonmel Junction Festival

One Step at a Time & Junction Joes



Forever Young is vastly different to any other piece of theatre I have ever partaken in or seen. A promenade piece, this show is deeply personal and engaging as it takes the audience on an adventure through the thoughts and possibilities of their youth in enlivened retrospect.

This was an exciting show that demanded full engagement from the audience. From the physical journey to the ideological one, there were elements of choice and personal input that makes each performance unique and dynamic for each audience.

It is a complex piece but well executed by the cast, with an incredible network of information, story and ideas being built from before the performance is even due to start as you get a text informing you of the start location and time and giving you instructions for preparing for the performance. This all gives an impression of conspiracy and mystery that creates an intriguing, and dynamic atmosphere throughout the piece.

Beyond this, it is hard to describe Forever Young without spoiling it for any of you that are lucky enough to catch it on its trip to the Traverse in Edinburgh. However, I will say that this is a spirited and well-thought-out piece that will get inside your head, let you inside those of its creators and characters and, most importantly, prompt you to venture inside your own thoughts and ideas as you “go one-to-one with a reclining chair, a team of adolescent experts and an outdoor foolhardy adventure.”


Moran’s Bar

Clonmel Junction Festival


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I laughed the laugh that I’m normally mortified to laugh in public. From the setting in the back room of Moran’s to the natural, open performance by Nonie Stapleton Charolais had the audience laughing and groaning in empathy with the character of Siobhán throughout.

Stapleton’s portrayal of each character, directed by Barbara Ní Chaoimh, was delivered with skilled characterisation, with the amorous French heifer coming to life just as engagingly as Breda the crotchety mother in law or the long suffering Siobhán. It was the little things that made the performance so impressive, like the the moo-ing moments in singing songs as the Charolais, the wry smile of Siobhán and the tight lipped disapproval of Breda.

The performance was built on the solid foundation Stapleton’s of well-paced and evocative writing, again bringing the characters and stories to life with vivacity and sagacity. Charolais is an hilarious, and sometimes heart-wrenching, tale of the age-old rivalry between between the wife and the mistress…with a bovine twist!

Overture – A Magical Italian Bubble Concerto

White Memorial Theatre

Clonmel Junction Festival



I may be 18, but for the time I sat in the balcony of the White Memorial Theatre this afternoon, I might have been mistaken for an open-mouthed, wide-eyed, wonder-filled five-year old. Such was my enjoyment of this show, created and performed by Michele Caffagi.

Caffagi creates a mesmerising orchestra of bubbles, using everything from a clarinet to a tennis net to produce shimmering arcs, swirling storms, enormous orbs and flurrying clouds of bubbles across the stage. Not only is his skill in doing this impressive, but his sweet, light-hearted, silent-vaudevillian style of performance brings an endearing energy and enthusiasm to the show with each little dance and satisfied giggle. By playing around in the audience and bringing children and adults alike up onstage to take part in his brilliant bubbly tricks, Caffagi invites an enthusiasm from the audience that reflects his on stage. Even the only flaw I found in the production becomes a virtue in Caffiagi’s performance as he recovered expertly from some late responses to lighting cues.

With children jumping around catching bubbles, parents laughing and joining in, and Caffiagi leading this capering concerto of fun, Overture is a sweet and fanciful romp through a world of iridescent magic.