“Next please” – an aphrodisiac of laughter – fast, pacey script is just ace!

Hilarious drama running at Bewleys Theatre Cafe until September 10

by Rose Barrett
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Woody Allen made a name for himself by putting all those awkward moments in relationships onto the silver screen. Well, Aisling O’Mara has written a script that perfectly captures all the fears and trepidation when you’re there on the first date.

Come on, whether you’re 17 or 70, 14 or 40, 18 or 80, don’t say you haven’t worked up a sweat overthinking the possibilities and pitfalls of a first date!.

Should I dress casual or make a huge effort? Should I text again to say ‘looking forward to seeing you…’ and add a X?

You send the text, do you seem too keen or too anxious.. or not keen enough!?

It’s a minefield, is the dating game, no matter what age you are!

The chemistry between the two key actors Aisling O’Mara and Hazel Clifford is crackling!

Author Aisling stars alongside Hazel Clifford in this quirky, edgy 50 minute drama. It’s a comedy yes, but when you’re splitting your sides with laughter, you’ll also note that it covers so many contemporary issues – from a child’s abandonment issues to her relationship with parents and grandparents; to accepting one’s sexuality and fearing acceptance of others; from falling into the trap of thinking romance, the ring, the big wedding, the white dress and that’s your happy every after.

Directed by Iseult Golden, this drama which runs up to and including September 10 next  at Bewley’s Theatre Café, it’s not to be missed, honestly.

I was captivated by the pair onstage, tentatively threading the highwire of the first date! Don’t be too enthusiastic, am I not keen enough….. don’t be too blunt, Lord, why would you not be honest.

Should I kiss on the first date…or not…..Is it even a first date, or WHAT!

I laughed out loud so many times at the cringe moments, and there are many. If we are all honest enough, we’ve all been there and stacked a pile of ‘cringe’ memories – and not just on first dates!

It put Woody Allen in the shade and some of the script was as witty and daft as an excerpt from a Marian Keyes novel.

Nominated for Best New Play, Irish Times Theatre Awards 2021, it’s well worth seeing.

Originally a Walkabout outdoor show in 2021, it’s now expertly staged at Bewley’s Café Theatre for a performance without any interruption from the ducks!

Come and eavesdrop on Jo and Mel as they navigate the mind field of dating during a pandemic. Running up to and including September 10, bookings at https://www.bewleyscafetheatre.com/events/next-please

Tickets €10-15 plus booking fee, group bookings discount offered.

I loved every second!


‘try and see the play… The dialogue is as sassy as the playing, with the two actors sparking off each other with obvious delight under Iseult Golden’s equally sparkling direction… ‘a sure-fire cracker of a comedy…

Emer O’Kelly, Sunday Independent

‘Witty, relatable, unpredictable and fun, Next Please is a winning romantic drama that carries an acerbic edge… fresh and surprisingly political’ Sunday Business Post

‘O’Mara’s script throughout is razor sharp’…‘O’Mara and Clifford combine as a fine pair of jousting partners’


‘you won’t be able to stop yourself from falling wildly in love with this sweetheart of a production’

‘Under Iseult Golden’s superb direction, the chemistry between Clifford and O’Mara crackles’

‘Individually, O’Mara and Clifford are astonishing, together they’re simply irresistible’

Next Please proves to be the tastiest thing on Bewley’s menu. The best treat you’ll give yourself all day. Not to be missed’

The Arts Review  – Chris O’Rourke


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