Henry (Henry Madd) has always found it easier to tell other people’s stories rather than his own. So that’s what he does in The Land of Lost Content where he turns the Pleasance Downstairs into his hometown Dulowl. As part of the Vault Festival transfer season, the show lays out the growing pains in the hearts and bodies of a group of mates that grew up in this little village that happens to rhyme with ‘dull’. Harry’s old friend Jake (Darragh Hand), who now sees him as a somewhat disloyal outsider, welcomes him at the local pub. Pint after pint, they engage with vivid memories from the old days before Henry moved away. As he tells us, their real-world adventures come nowhere close to the coming-of-age glory promised by movies.
Yes, this is my first time in Dingle – no, I’ve not been out on the peninsula yet and yes, I’ll make sure to say hello to Fungie. The next thing I know we’re splitting a bag of Taytos with the row in front and cheering along to a traditional song that has risen up. And the play hasn’t even started yet.
It’s the last night to have a drink at the Anchor before it’s sold to developers who will turn it into luxury flats or a Pret A Manger. Landlord Kenny, his staff and a couple of locals are celebrating the end of an era by drinking the bar dry, but the more they drink, the more their secrets threaten to ruin the good memories of a local community.