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No Love, Just War

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Very excited that my play War Of Attrition is returning this December for a run in Project Arts Centre in Dublin and the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny.

The play had a successful debut run last year at Dublin Fringe Festival before making its way to Galway Theatre Festival. It received 4 star reviews from Irish Theatre Magazine and The Irish Times as well as garnering a Fringe Awards nomination for Best Female Performer for Roseanna Purcell’s role as Daisy. John Doran and myself are rejoining her in the cast and director Niamh Moroney will be back to crack the whip on us.

As the synopsis for the show goes:

Daisy is an unwitting internet celebrity, the ‘Psycho Chugger’ whose video currently has 178, 234 views on Youtube – it is ruining her life.

Alan, a blogger by the name of Generalissimo Malaise who claims to target the ‘everyday arsehole’, is the one who made it.

And Chris, well he just got caught in the crossfire.

There will be casualties when a nasty game of one-upmanship descends into a relentless war. War Of Attrition is a destructively comic thriller that takes you from parties on the streets of Dublin to the darkest parts of the internet where revolution is brewing.

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The show plays The Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny from December 9th-11th and Project Arts Centre, Dublin from December 15th-20th. Tickets for both shows can now be booked online.

I was delighted with the response to the show last year so I’m absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to present the show again. For all info on the show, keep an eye on devioustheatre.com

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A Cult For You

10623492_10152903087728676_8553289367359675772_oJohn Doran’s one man show The Centre Of The Universe which I directed is currently going great guns at this years Tiger Dublin Fringe. It’s one of this years Show In A Bag offerings and has garnered a couple of nice reviews since it opened, check them out here and here.

10631052_10152900136648676_796277500093288867_oIt’s running until this Saturday night so check it out if you want to see a masterclass of physical comedy from a seriously talented performer. You can book tickets here.

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White Label

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After many months of plotting and planning, I’m delighted to finally launch White Label.

It’s the name of a brand new theatre outfit in Dublin that I’m working with. The idea (as per the name) is to create a new model for theatre making in Ireland, in this case along the lines of an independent record label. So a theatre label, basically. The proper official mission statement from the group is: “We are nine independent, professional, theatre makers working together to redesign our creative landscape, to make it better for us and for you.”

The nine of us, apart from myself, are Joanna Crawley, James Hickson, Rosemary McKenna, Louise Melinn, Aisling Murray, Máirín O’Grady, Ronan Phelan and Hugh Travers. We just launched last Tuesday with The Eurydice Project. It was a nice low key launch and allowed us to finally stop feeling like a weird secret sect hanging around town, slowly drinking long pots of tea and whispering. It’s done, it’s out there and now we just need to make work. And luckily enough, we’ve got some very exciting projects lined up. In fact, you’ll be able to see (A)pollonia at this years Dublin Theatre Festival. I’m really excited about what we’re brewing, but we’re taking some good old school baby steps as we progress. For all the info on White Label and what we’re doing, please check out our website and follow the social media bits and bobs.

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The Centre Of The Universe

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I’m delighted to be directing this one man show by John Doran as part of Show In A Bag at this years Dublin Fringe Festival.

Here’s all the details. Join us…

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Fishes

Fishes

Fishes is a brilliant new piece of writing from David Fennelly and it’s got its proper opening tonight in Smock Alley Theatre.

I’m directing this one which flies in the face of me always promising to never direct theatre again but after this, I promise to never direct theatre again. Unless I get asked to direct a really brilliant, inventive, funny and sweet piece of writing with two brilliant actors. Which is exactly what happened here and sometimes I have no will power. Fishes is about a man called Larry who has just lost his job, his girl and is overdoing it on the visits to Coppers. He’s about to have a home visit from his social welfare inspector. And that’s when all his fears and anxieties begin to boil over…

The cast are David Fennelly himself and the ever amazing John Doran so come see these two blow the walls off Smock Alley Boys School for 65 minutes with two cracking performances. It opens proper tonight and runs until December 11th. For tickets and all other info, visit the Smock Alley website.

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Konstantin Has Shot Himself

My first job for the new year is a new play with Sheer Tantrum for THE THEATRE MACHINE TURNS YOU ON: Vol 3. This is a brilliant festival organised by the good people of THEATREclub and one I’ve been lucky enough to participate in before when Scratcher had its debut performance at Vol 2 in February 2011. It was a brilliant experience and myself and the Devious Theatre team got to see a lot of great shows and generally had the height of craic over a couple of days in Dublin.

This time I’m working with Sheer Tantrum on their new play Konstantin Has Shot Himself. It’s a devised piece that we’ve been working on since late November and it revolves around Chekhov’s famous play The Seagull. Although if you’re not familiar with that play (or if you just plain hate Chekhov), it’s no impediment to enjoying it. We’re mostly focusing on themes that The Seagull brings up like the nature of performance, art vs entertainment and what it is to fail as an artist. And check it out, we have a puppet in it too… he’s pretty sound. Chekhov thought the play he wrote was a comedy… and good for him. So we’ve definitely taken a comic approach to it and it should provide plenty of laughs, like all good classic Russian theatre!

The production is directed by the show’s mastermind Vincent A. O’Reilly and I’ve been delighted to work with a crack team of brilliant actors in Alicja Ayres, Duncan Lacroix, Sinead O’Brien and Simon Toal. We’re still tightening it before its debut performance on Thursday in Project Arts Centre but if you like laugh out loud comedies about suicidal 19th century Russian dramatists, well then you’re in for a treat. And if you don’t like that, you’re still in for a treat.

Konstantin Has Shot Himself is one of the New Releases of THE THEATRE MACHINE TURNS YOU ON: Vol 3. It plays Project Arts Centre on January 10th and 11th at 7pm nightly and you can book your tickets right here.

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Sending TEXT | Messages

I’m currently working on a really exciting project that’s all up in breaking down Shakespeare.

TEXT | Messages sees nine emerging directors tackle 160 lines of Shakespeare in no more than 20 minutes. It takes place over three nights with three directors presenting their work per night. So it’s a lot of Shakespeare in a short burst of time. The project has been curated and produced by Conor Hanratty, Aoife Spillane-Hinks, Lara Hickey and Megan Riordan. I was absolutely delighted to be asked to take part, especially considering that there’s some serious directorial talent involved including Edwina Casey, Conor Hanratty, Jose Miguel Jimenez, Sophie Motley, Oonagh Murphy, Aonghus Óg McAnally, Aoife Spillane-Hinks and Lianne O’Shea. Everyone is taking a knife to Shakespeare in their own way and it should make for 9 really different pieces of work.

The piece I chose was from one of my favourite plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I kinda figured I could adapt the play within the play Pyramus and Thisbe in one very compact 160 line chunk and still retain its essence. And so far in rehearsal, it’s been working really well! Shakespeare’s inspiration for that play was apparently the bad troupes of actors he saw interpreting his work. So we’ve turned ourselves into a bad troupe (ahem) and are performing Pyramus and Thisbe as bad as it was performed by Peter Quince’s raggle taggle company in the original play. It’s very much done within the style of a play within a play… within a collection of plays.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was my first ever directing gig on a play (as assistant director on the Dreamstuff production when I was 17) so it’s nice to return to it for this project. I’ve stuck with a lot of the usual troupe of actors I play with so I’ll be joined in the piece by the talented players that are John Doran, Amy Dunne, Ken McGuire and David Thompson. It’s a nice little theatrical nightcap for what has been an insanely prolific year of theatre for the lot of us. And after… perchance to sleep.

Our troupe will be performing tomorrow Wednesday December 14th along with pieces from Aoife Spillane-Hinks and Aonghus Óg McAnally. The kick off time is 8.15pm, tickets are only €5 and available from the Project Arts Centre website. The show itself opens tonight Tuesday December 13th and it runs until Thursday December 15th in Project Arts Centre.

Photo by Ross Costigan Photography.

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Voices In The Rubble

What’s currently keeping me busy is this new production from Sheer Tantrum which is enjoying a 2 week run up in the Pearse Centre in Dublin City.

The Dublin based company are performing two absurd one act plays, the first of which is The Applicant which is written and directed by Vincent A. O’Reilly. I saw it for the first time last night (normally I’m quaffing Red Bull backstage… or Blue Bear, depending on finances) and it’s absolutely fantastic. A really sharp, pointed, funny, satirical piece of theatre with some brilliant performances. It was my first opportunity to see how the two plays matched up. Really well it turns out.

I’m working on Voices In The Rubble which is written and directed by Darren Donohue. I’m in a cast which also includes Frank Conlon, Amy Dunne and David Thompson. That’s the four of us up above there. Fun fact: That picture in no way relates to anything that happens in the play. I don’t have a clue what we were doing there… but we look into it.

It’s another really fast paced, sharp piece of absurd theatre which revolves around 40 years of marriage being condensed into 40 minutes. Somebody recently asked me what it was like and I described it as ‘I Love Lucy directed by David Lynch’. I think that sums it up. We previously performed it in Kilkenny back in September and it’s been great to take it up to Dublin for a spin.

The previews and first two performances have come and gone and now we’ve got one more week left in the Pearse Centre (which is a really lovely new performance space right in the centre of Dublin). You can book tickets online at entertainment.ie or else get them on the door. It runs until this Friday December 2nd and kick off is at 7.30pm nightly.

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So, There Was This Bash…

The next Devious Theatre production is going to be bash: latterday plays by Neil LaBute.

After the In The Future When All’s Well season we were looking forward to a nice long break. But well… we got the new premises and wanted to get some use out of it this year. Also, we’re suckers for punishment.

We’ve been looking to do something by Neil LaBute for quite some time, as we’re really big fans of his writing. So when we decided to do another production before the end of 2011, we took it as a welcome opportunity to finally stage one of his plays.

And that play is bash, one of his most controversial works. It consists of three monologues that tell seemingly normal stories from normal people but, yup, they’re anything but. Like a lot of LaBute’s stage work (The Shape Of Things, reasons to be pretty, Wrecks, Fat Pig) it takes a look at the dark impulses that drive civilised people. We’ve given it the tagline of ‘Three Horror Stories Of Everyday Evil’ which sums up our take on it. We’re doing it around Halloween time but it’s a bit of an unconventional choice of ‘horror’ material. It’s more of a gut punching, nauseating, awkward kind of experience. Way to build it up, eh? In short, it’s a fucking excellent piece of writing and we’re very excited. It’s a real departure from our trademark style of comedy so I hope we deliver with something ‘deviant’.

I’ll be acting in Iphigenia In Orem, which I’m thrilled to perform. It’s the story of a young businessman who makes a confession to a stranger in a Las Vegas bedroom. Rehearsals started last week under the sturdy hand of Ken McGuire and I’m pretty sure it’s going to preclude me from much of a social life for the next month. I’m also doing some directing myself for Medea Redux which is being performed by Annette O’Shea, and based on what she’s already showed us, it’s going to be epic. The final piece is A Gaggle Of Saints performed by Amy Dunne and Ken McGuire and directed by Annette O’Shea.

So that’s the basic info on the play. We’re going to be performing it in the intimate surroundings of Cleere’s Theatre from October 17th – 22nd. You can tickets online here. I’ll write more about it as I have more to write. I really need to go and start learning my lines.

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The Undertakers

Tonight I’ll be doing a rehearsed reading of Gillian Grattan‘s new play The Undertakers in The Bridgebrook Arms in Thomastown. It’s a very dark and witty comedy and affords me the opportunity of getting to perform but not have to learn a script off. Also, mostly sitting down.

It kicks off at 8pm and it’s all entirely for free so if you’re in the vicinity pop in.

The cast also features fellow Deviants David Thompson and Aoibhín Murphy along with Bobby McDonald, Brian Hamilton, Orla Kelly and Sid Evans.

It’s a nice come down after the past 6 months… sitting, reading… mmmm… mild laziness.

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