In Ballybeg, time seems to have never passed. Modern technologies have not yet conquered the village and the annual Irish dance competition is the most important event of the year. Michael presents the beauty and peculiarities of Ballybeg to the audience as the ideal place to go on holiday. Impersonating Daniel Duffy, a shy young man responsible for the tourist promotion of the village, he narrates the surreal episodes belonging to the tradition of the town.
Trying to deliver his presentation, Daniel encounters several difficulties that, however, never dissuade him from carrying on. The projector Maloney, an old barbecue reconditioned as a projector, always fails to work. But, when it rarely does, it's an incredible amusement, screening old videos depicting the life in Ballybeg. This is how we get to know some of the most hilarious and absurd characters of the Northern Irish village.
In a mixture of Daniel's personal life events and old traditions of the village, the audience is absorbed in this tiny universe, where normal rules do not apply. To recognise their cows, one of owners put ladders on their neck, but panic rises in the village when everybody considers it a great idea and start doing it, too.
In the amusing chaos, Michael wins the audience performing this tender and awkward character. The strong accent and clothes style reinforces his stage persona, building a world that in its absurdity is extremely coherent with itself. As the grandson of a famous Irish dancer, he performs an incredible reel surprising the audience, who wows in appraisal.
Yet, despite the funny stories and the likeable character, the show could have been pushed further transforming the sympathetic smiles of the audience in laugh out loud moments.
Michael Stranney: Welcome to Ballybeg is at 18:00 at the Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 6-25. For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.