“A moving reflection on working-class identity, family relations, the marginalization of skilled labourers and tradesmen, and the collapse of the Celtic Tiger as intimately refracted through the marriage of two people” ★★★★ Exeunt Magazine
“Stark, uncompromising and authentic” worldirish.com
“Dunne possesses an endearing sincerity and Larkin has a presence and honesty few young actresses can match” ★★★★ entertainment.ie
“Thought-provoking, entertaining. Amusing, poignant and ambitious.” thejournal.ie
“a story told with impassioned honesty and straightforwardness…” Irish Theatre Magazine
Do You Read Me?
Interview with Chris McCormack for yay.ie:
Interview with Lauren O’ Toole for entertainment.ie: http://entertainment.ie/Theatre/feature/Absolut-Fringe:-Do-You-Read-Me?/10/1664.htm
“I picked up on the description of this; We walked away from the Church, we still don’t trust the Dáil, we are hiding our money under the mattress; true… there is a real message there”
Minister for the Arts, Jimmy Deenihan TD. July 2011 ABSOLUT Fringe Launch
“You’d have to be dead inside not be buoyed by its youthful exuberance, its vibrant performances and its lack of pretentious cynicism.”
Emma Somers for The Irish Times, September 2011
“Talking Shop Ensemble’s production is always assured. Zia Holly’s lighting design depicts a tug-of-war between darkness and light, while Oonagh Murphy’s direction sees the theatrical potential of the Boys’ School fully maximised.”
Donald Mahoney, Irish Theatre Magazine, September 2011
“Creative, Funny, Interesting.”
Darragh Doyle for thejournal.ie September 2011
“a smart and entertaining little piece.”
entertainment.ie September 2011
“I liked it and I left happy. Talking Shop Ensemble can be very pleased with their production.”
dublinculture.ie September 2011
I am a Homebird (It’s Very Hard)
“The final nights performance ‘I am a Home Bird (It’s Very Hard) was presented by Talking Shop Ensemble. It dealt defiantly with the spectre of emigration. The cast talked about friends and family who had moved overseas and received a standing ovation for a show that was saying not everyone has left”
Brian O’ Connell, The Irish Times, June 2011
“Dunne is a charming and engaging performer, displaying a disarming vulnerability as he relates his musings on being a member of a supposedly ‘lost’ generation…You can’t help but want to join in the outcry against the bleeding of talent, intelligence and creativity that may take decades to reverse”
Jessie Weaver, Irish Theatre Magazine, April 2011
There are several moments which stick in your mind from a performance of “I’m A Homebird (It’s Very Hard)”, which closed its run at Dublin’s Project on Saturday night. There’s the Nadine Coyle love-in, the championing of the Girls Aloud hoofer by Homebird writer and performer Shaun Dunne. There’s the ease at which the three onstage flit from monologues to choreographed dance moves. There’s the non-stop rush of ideas and notions and thoughts which come out in a flood of emotion, just as they would in real life when you’ve a bunch of twentysomethings discussing whether they should stay or go. But there was one line towards the end which was still running in my mind the following day: “there’s a fucking renaissance going on”. That comes in the middle of Dunne’s final speech before the stage goes black, as he talks about the reasons why someone should stay in Ireland rather than joining the thousands who’ve already left or are planning to depart for London, Germany, Australia, Canada and other places out foreign. Homebird is about that choice.”
Jim Carroll, The Irish Times, April 2011.
“His slow, if occasionally excitable, delivery is perfectly paced to let his thought process travel and reach its individual destination within the minds and personal experience of his audience.. His affable manner teamed with his growing sense of isolation is what draws you into this immensely personal yet widely felt tale of young Irish people”
Caomhan Keane, entertainment.ie , April 2011
“It’s a demonstration of sheer genius when a writer manages to throw Nadine Coyle, World Cup 2002 and Come Dine With Me together and come up with a convincing argument for masses of Irish youth to reassess their emigration plans… Witty and Tightly Choreographed”
Lauren O’Toole, entertainment.ie, February 2011
“Grotesque parody, funny and tragic at the same time.”
Irish Theatre Magazine, September 2o10
“Provocative, and yet wholeheartedly pop.”
Roise Goan, Director of ABSOLUT Fringe.
“Chaotic, complicated, weird, intricate, telling, sexy, funny strange, funny haha and worth just for final speeches. “Fat is making theatre about being looked at” and it does that so well, you’ll applaud as loudly as we did.”
Darragh Doyle, Entertainment and Events Blogger.
“This promenade piece by Talking Shop Ensemble explores how the dreams and hopes of childhood are often shredded and crushed once we reach adulthood. TSE divulge their theme by alternating between intimate, grown-up snapshots and Magic Roundabout playfulness as the audience is lead around the grounds and intothe buildings of the National College of Art and Design.We first meet Ann and Barry in, appropriately enough, a classroom. Members of the cast, as six-year-old children, interact with us. We feel again what it’s like to be a child. Then our teacher, Ms Fallon, takes us on our journey, one which leads us right into the rotten heart of corrupt, recession-ridden modernIreland: adult Barry is a developer, Ann an artist. Punctuated by aspirational and imaginatively garbled lines from the poetry of Yeats (à la Ms Fallon), Ann and Barry’s disintegrating lives are ours, too. Original and fun, disturbing and pertinent.
Patrick Brennan, The Irish Times, September 2008
“…manages to, not only make you laugh at the mash-ups of school yard sing-a-longs, but also effortlessly takes you through the siblings lives both past and present.”
Kevin Gleeson, Oh Fringe! Magazine. September 2008