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May 19, 2020 • dead still

Dead Still Airs

Dead Still, a six episode murder mystery series based around a memorial photographer in Victorian Ireland that I wrote, has started airing in the US and Canada on Acorn TV as of 18th May, with an episode weekly. It will be followed by the UK, Australia and New Zealand on 29th June. Ireland, still to be confirmed. The first two episodes are entirely relatable viewing fodder for anyone who has lost their camera back ups and/or been stranded in Dun Laoghaire when they don’t want to be and the third episode is prime Joe Duffy bait, so looking forward to that reaction when it airs in Ireland.

Four episodes are directed by the always brilliant Imogen Murphy and after 6 years developing this in coffee shops the length and breadth of Dublin, I’m delighted we’re finally getting it out in the world. Two of the episodes are directed by Craig David Wallace who is an immense talent and a joy to work with. The wonderful, eclectic cast is headed up by Michael Smiley, Eileen O’Higgins, Kerr Logan, Jimmy Smallhorne, Aidan O’Hare, Peter Campion, Aoife Duffin and Martin Donovan amongst many others. Big shout out to Deadpan Pictures who took a punt on this quite off kilter idea and got it to this stage.

The response to show thus far has been amazing and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s gone down. Here’s the trailer for the show if you’d like a taste of what to expect.

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February 23, 2020 • short film

Where The Wild Things Go

This lovely wee short from all round GOAT Fergal Costello that I worked on last year has just gone online. I got to play Max from Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are as an entirely unconvincing teenager and an entirely convincing haggard 30 something. Based on D. Gilson’s lovely poem about growing up and getting your shit together. I’m acting alongside my old mucker Clare Monnelly, who had the misfortune of playing both my girlfriend and my ma in a one month period in early 2019.

Here’s the film:

Where The Wild Things Go – Based on the poem by D. Gilson from Fergal Costello on Vimeo.

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February 22, 2020 • Uncategorized

Two Cats In Toronto

My short film Two Cats is getting a spin at Toronto Irish Film Festival on February 29th if anyone is knocking about my old stomping ground of Toronto and wants to see us tearing strips off each other. Check out this very cool new poster by the talented and very brotherly Stephen J Morton.

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September 23, 2019 • short film

Seanie and Flo Trailer

Here’s the trailer for a short film I wrote based on my old summer job of tracking down illegal dumpers in a bin truck. It’s off now to scavenge around a few film festivals in the US, Australia and Europe. Directed by the always brilliant Imogen Murphy and starring John Connors, Ann Skelly, Aidan McArdle and Norma Sheahan.

Seanie & Flo (Trailer) from Imogen Murphy on Vimeo.

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June 26, 2019 • devious theatre, Theatre

The Roaring Banshees

 

So very excited to be bringing this show to the stage this August.

The Roaring Banshees by Peter McGann and myself is the second part of our Ripping Yarn Trilogy following on from The Hellfire Squad which we premiered in 2016. We’re again working with our favourite collaborator, the brilliant Sarah Baxter who will also be directing this show.

It’s one thing to come up with a fairly out there idea but another thing entirely to see it coming to life in such vivid fashion. Anyway, we thought Cumann na mBan versus Al Capone’s Outfit would be a cracking idea for a new play.

Cumann na mBan’s baddest, meanest and most ruthless beures, pulled from their individual clubs by Countess Markievicz and assembled into a unit of Ireland’s most feared assassins. Played by the amazing cast of Nessa Matthews, Ali Fox, Clodagh Mooney Duggan, Aoife Spratt, Amy Dunne, Laura Brady and Aine Ni Laoghaire.

Chicago, 1923.

After a failed assassination attempt on Eamon de Valera, a rogue Cumann na mBán unit flee across the Atlantic to escape the law. With Prohibition in full swing, they earn their keep by making bootleg poitín and selling it on to the Chicago mob.

But it’s not long before a gang war breaks out with them caught in the middle, and the lethal skills they honed back home hunting Black and Tans are taken to the bullet-strewn streets of the Windy City.

Here’s the trailer for the show, made by the brilliant Sean Clancy.

I’m so excited to see this one hit the stage and we hope audiences get a kick out of it. No Let Up.

1-3 August, Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny: https://bit.ly/2NMKObA

12-31 August, Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin: https://bit.ly/2GjFFl7

 

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June 15, 2019 • Theatre

The Big Chapel

 

I’m honoured as all hell to be writing the stage adaptation of Thomas Kilroy’s novel The Big Chapel which is premiering at this years Kilkenny Arts Festival. The show, like the book itself, is a fictionalised retelling of the Callan Schools Affair and also like the book will be a dark, satirical take on the religious zealotry and the weaponisation of lies.

The show is being produced by Asylum alongside the Abbey Theatre and Kilkenny Arts Festival. It will be directed by Donal Gallagher. The team behind this one are insanely good and intent on putting on quite the spectacle. 11th-17th August around the streets of Callan. Bring your own riot gear. https://www.kilkennyarts.ie/programme/the-big-chapel

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June 2, 2019 • dead still

Dead Still

There they are now. The lads. In 1880. It’s absolutely mad to see this coming to life. Six episodes of macabre murder mystery craic set in Victorian Dublin, premiering in early 2020.

I’ve been developing Dead Still alongside director Imogen Murphy for Deadpan Pictures for nearly five years now with Paul Donovan shepherding the show to life. We put together a promo for it back in 2014 when it was still called Daguerreotype. It’s been a long time gestating since then and got a much more succint title along the way, so I’m very grateful to see it actually happening. I’m lucky to get a shot at the kind of yarns 13 year old me would have lapped up, not to mention all those years cutting teeth on stuff like Vultures. This show is a lot of things I like put in a blender. I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, Alan Moore’s Victorian yarns, Ripperology, The X-Files and Coen Brothers so there’s definitely a lot of that in the mix with a good dollop of Irish history and mythology just to get a real good stew going.

Here’s the general gist of the show:

Dublin, 1880. Cameras are becoming cheaper and the country is flourishing with photographic studios. However, the practice of memorial portraiture is on the wane. That is, the portrait photography of the recently deceased. Renowned memorial photographer Brock Blennerhasset tries to revive his business after an accident, requiring the assistance of his estranged niece Nancy Vickers and his over enthusiastic new assistant, and former gravedigger, Conall Molloy. After a rocky start, their working relationship begins to develop but soon it appears someone more sinister is getting in on the death photography game. The investigations of Detective Frederick Regan of Dublin Castle suggest a killer may be cashing in on a developing taste for a different type of memorial imagery, in this case, pictures of people in their death throes. As the body count begins to escalate, Blennerhasset, Molloy and Nancy have to stop a murderer intent on ruining not just their business, but their lives.

Imogen is directing four of the episodes with Craig David Wallace tackling the other two. They’ve done such a tight, stylish job on bringing it to life. The entire crew have created such a rich world and I couldn’t be happier with it.

The cast are top drawer with Michael Smiley, Kerr Logan, Eileen O’Higgins and Aidan O’Hare leading the charge. Not to mention a ridiculously good supporting cast including Peter Campion, Jordanne Jones, Jimmy Smallhorne, Mark Rendall and Martin Donovan. Did I geek out? No, what are you on about? Of course I didn’t.

(I did)

There’s an awful lot more unannounced but equally exciting actors in the mix, populating the world of Victorian Dublin, with its various dark corners. It’s a time period that hasn’t really been utilised a lot in Irish film and TV so I took the opportunity to indulge myself in a lot of the odd details and weird happenings of the time. It’s been a real labour of love for us to get it up to the screen so I hope people will enjoy it when it airs in the new year.

More details about the show here on fucking Variety! (Not geeking out, honestly)

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November 1, 2018 • mycrofilms, short film

Two Cats

My short film Two Cats recently premiered at the Kerry Film Festival and I was delighted that it got shortlisted for Best Irish Short, which is a great result in its first run out.

There’s also a trailer for the film recently released into the wild. Check it out.

The film is synopsised thus: Two Cats is a black comedy that tells the story of a woman’s struggle to scatter her dead brother’s ashes discreetly in their hometown in the aftermath of his death. The film is a modern reworking of the old story of the two cats of Kilkenny.

It stars Aoibhín Murphy, Peter McGann, Amy Dunne, Ed Murphy and myself. It was produced by Alan Slattery and shot and edited by Sean Clancy. It’s produced under the Mycrofilms banner.

I’m hoping there will be a few more screenings of the film in 2019. Will post updates accordingly.

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October 13, 2018 • Theatre

Home Theatre Ireland

I was absolutely honoured to be part of the brilliant Home Theatre Ireland project as part of Dublin Theatre Festival.

I performed Grizzly, a new piece I’ve written, which was directed by Conall Morrison. The show was inspired by my host Michelle and on October 6th I performed it three times in her sitting room. It was one of the most unique working experiences I’ve ever had and I’m so glad to be part of this mad idea to create 30 new shows and perform them in 30 homes all in one day. It’s the kind of project I think people will still be speaking of in years to come. Then the show transferred to Draiocht for Dublin Theatre Festival and on October 11th I got to perform the piece in front of (honestly) one of the best audiences I’ve ever been in front of. It was electric. Congrats to everyone involved who created a really special project and one I loved being involved with.

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September 10, 2018 • Uncategorized

Running + Walking In The Phoenix Park

I’m very excited to be performing Running + Walking in the Phoenix Park by Martin Sharry as part of this years Dublin Fringe Festival. It’s a beautiful piece of writing and I’ve really enjoyed working on the piece alongside the brilliant Rachel Ní Chuinn.

A man is running for his life. Running helps the brain to regenerate. Over time, he forgets himself. He grows more interested in the trees, the history, the life of the park. A conversation with a horse chestnut reveals the nature of healthy being.

Then he stops.

Slowly, he starts again…

Four weeks rehearsing done on the show and your boy is limber of foot. Thanks to Deirdre Dwyer for giving me a costume that ensures I won’t get hit by a car in Project Arts Centre for the next two weeks. Here’s hoping anyway. Show runs 12-14 / 19-22 September at lunchtimes. Best audience member gets to keep my sweatband at the end. Book your tickets here.

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