Review: The Bad Daters & The Good Cheaters

Coming from a triumphant run in the Edinburgh fringe, writer & director Derek Murphy presents a 2-piece 2-hand treat at the Viking Theatre, Clontarf.

Starring Sarah Lafferty & Brian Gallagher, the two plays, which share a cast, tell the story of two different couples in a pair of 45 minute comedies.

The Bad Daters is a delightful romantic comedy of two kooks, persevering one another’s eccentricities and scars toward a real bond.

It’s a confident, remarkably touching character piece, high paced and witty.

Wendy the anxious stickler and Liam, easygoing and open are instantly charming. Lafferty and Gallagher have a playful chemistry which serves the piece well.

On return from the interval, The Good Cheaters strikes a tenser tone.

Our second couple, Paddy and Phyllis are caustic, paranoid and spiteful towards one another, and the cast tackle these darker characters with remarkable hunger and pathos..

The script this time is more daring, still bearing Murphy’s dry wit and engaging pace, but rooted in higher stakes and deeper themes.

The two shows present a yin and yang of tone and themes, fitting together perfectly with the shared cast complimenting the effect of contrast between the two plays.

The Viking, above Connolly’s pub on the coast, has an atmosphere that is ideal for these small, smartly staged comedies, with a lively local crowd out for a good night.

Final tickets for the last shows are available here

The Bad Daters & The Good Cheaters will also be coming to The Civic this June.

Photo by Al Craig