Blackcatfishmusketeer by Malaprop Theatre

Written by Dylan Coburn Gray, Blackcatfishmusketeer at first seems like gentle entertainment, but gradually reveals itself ss omething rather more. Taking place in an online world of internet dating and fake identities, a man and a woman chat online and become friends, then something more. Both are apparently looking for someone, but connecting with a person with only text for communication raises difficult questions. Are they who they seem? Is anyone really who they seem anyway? And how do you know if you understand, never mind love, someone else?

Cleverly staged, the online conversations between the two take place with the mediation of the Internet, a cheerful character who explains the links they send to each other and their meaning, or lack of. Coburn Gray throws plenty at the play, including rapidfire debates over, amongst others, Kierkegaard, which at times seem excessive. However, the theoretical cleverness of the writing is matched with real heart, and the main characters are entirely human and believable in their ability to love, to tease and to self-destruct. Their Dublin-London relationship also explores the modern Irish diaspora experience of the distance between work and home in a unforced way. Blackcatfishmusketeer is an enjoyable show that stays with you a long time after it is finished.

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