Smitten

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Smitten has hit the RTÉ Player as part of the line up for Storyland 2016.

We went to the launch on Monday which was good craic. The other pilots look great so I’m looking forward to catching them. Here’s a picture of us trying not to look uncomfortable for press photos.

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It’s been great to get the episode out there and I’m very humbled and heartened by the support. I wouldn’t have gotten to do this without such a powerhouse cast (Aoife Spratt, Clare Monnelly, David Thompson, Jack O’Leary, Amy Dunne, Pete McGann, Leah Egan and Gus McDonagh) and crew (too many toppers to mention but an extra special thanks to Ruth Carter for producing the hell out of this) and the support of everyone in Kilkenny which, in case you haven’t heard, is a pretty fucking great place.

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And thanks so much to everyone who supported the various theatrical runs of Smitten, the short film version, the pop up book etc, over the years. It was great to make something for RTÉ about the hometown and even if it goes nowhere else, it’s nice to have had this opportunity. I don’t know if we’ll get to make other episodes for the rest of the characters but I guess the more people who like it and watch it, it’ll do the series prospects no harm. So if you do watch it and like it, please spread the good word. Thanks again.

Here’s some more words I wrote about the long pregnancy of Smitten.

You can watch Smitten right here.

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Shut Up And Play The Hits

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Over Devious Theatre way, 10th birthday celebrations are about to kick in for 2016 and the first announcement of what we’re calling Devious 10 has been made. The first Devious Theatre production (and my first play to boot) Heart Shaped Vinyl is getting a fresh spin in a new version in May 2016.

Heart Shaped Vinyl is a theatrical mix tape focusing on pop music, relationships and a whole lot of heartbreak in Ireland over the course of six decades. Originally set between 1962 and 2006, this new version adds a brand new story set in the years 2014 and 2016. The play is broken into Side A and Side B, both of which tell a different side of six different stories featuring an ensemble cast of 14 actors. Here’s the very first poster:

HSV Original

First performed in Cleeres Theatre in August 2006, the show was restaged in June 2007 and again for a one off Rockfall show in October 2007. It’s had a good life since then with a lot of college drama socs and am dram companies producing it. First time we did this show, we were so scared of being a ‘grown up’ theatre company that I didn’t have my name on it as the writer (god bless you Billy Shears) and we made up a fictional director for it (the late Tony M. Everard). Pups we were. It’s weird to return to your first play after 10 years and curse all the things you did when you were starting out. That being said, it seems like a fitting way to cap off what’s been a great 10 year run with a little theatre company we set up in a coffee shop in Kilkenny back in May 2006. So yeah, we’re shutting up and playing the hits. Heart Shaped Vinyl returns to Cleeres Theatre, Kilkenny for eight performances only from 18th-21st and 25th-28th May 2016. The rest of our Devious 10 programme will be launched in the new year. If you want to grab tickets for the show, they’re already on sale right here.

Also, this here is some solid work from Paddy Dunne, who designed the very first Heart Shaped Vinyl teaser in 2006 and who delivered another cracker here for the reissue.
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Struck, As With Hard Blow

smitten

There’s always a fine line between plugging away at something and flogging a dead horse. Speaking of which…

I shot the pilot episode for Smitten, a Kilkenny based comedy drama earlier this month and it’s going to be hitting the RTÉ Player early in the new year as part of the new Storyland initiative.

Smitten was an idea I’d had for a screenplay for a really, really longtime. And as I’ve gotten older, the characters have followed suit and at this stage it’s kind of followed through my twenties. So it’s a real surprise this episode isn’t people cursing water bills and freaking out about how to calculate tax. Smitten was basically a series of vignettes about an interlinked, fractured group of friends set in Kilkenny, a series of tragicomic stories. Nothing too gimmicky and basically an excuse for me to write something about where I’m from. Also, I loved the meaning of the word. It sounds romantic but it really means being sick, hit hard, afflicted, completely stricken. So, the absolute anti craic of romance. When I was a bairn in YIFM years back, I’d made a feature with a lot of these characters in it, and they were also bairns. It was called Skegs and Skangers and it was rough as arse (it’s a fucking mess truth be telt) but when you’re 17 and getting to make features, it’s a sweet learning curve to be clueless on. I’d been getting more into theatre post college so I decided to try Smitten as a stage play which Devious Theatre staged in 2008 in The Barn.

Bronagh (Annette O'Shea) and Dave (Kevin Mooney)

It went down pretty well at the time but I still felt that there was more to be done with it. I wrote a screenplay and then re-adapted the play to suit that. So three years later we re-staged it again in a slightly more streamlined fashion in 2011 as part of Devious Theatre’s In The Future When All’s Well residency and brought it to Cork and had the craic. It was more of a musical this time and it felt right.

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Smitten Final Poster

The itch to do something with it for the screen was still there. I’d written a screenplay which I had hawked around unsuccessfully for a year or two. Realising that a multi character story these days would probably make a better fit for television, I made a short film called Daffney Molloy And Other Catastrophes, based on a scene from the screenplay and used that as a proof of concept for something for TV. It screened at IndieCork this year and will go online next year. Then the Storyland opportunity came up and it was off to the races.

The pitch for the series was to focus on one character per episode and the Storyland version of it looks at the character of Bronagh, ostensibly the most level headed, together member of this group of friends but one who’s put in a right state of chassis when she discovers she’s pregnant on the same day her ex Dave goes missing. And she’s really the only one who can find him.

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The cast for the show is a line up of absolute toppers: Aoife Spratt, Clare Monnelly, David Thompson, Jack O’Leary, Amy Dunne, Leah Egan, Peter McGann and Gus McDonagh. I was blessed to work with a cracker of a crew on this too. It’s been produced by Ruth Carter for Mycrofilms. There’s a great team on board and I’ve been a very lucky man to work with them. That’s the craic anyway, it’ll go online in the new year and I’ll probably write something else about it then. It’s been really nice to get to this point with something I’ve been plugging away at for a good, long time now. And if this is as far as it goes, I’m good with that. Bottom line, keep plugging away. Plugging away is a good thing.

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Dave Ruins Wedding

Here’s a nice wee sketch I recently worked on from Fergal Costello, a fine director of a man who I previously worked on in Zenith and Tobias And The Tree.

To sum it up, everyone knows a prick like Dave.

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Who’s Daffney Molloy?

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My new short film Daffney Molloy And Other Catastrophes will have its premiere on October 9th at this years IndieCork festival. I’m looking forward to taking a trip down Cork way to see it with an audience. Set in present day Kilkenny, the film is about four fellas at a house party who drown their sorrows whilst trading stories about a near mythical girl from their past. One of their number, Tommy, hasn’t heard of Daffney Molloy and is trying to figure out what’s the truth and what’s fantasy.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

The cast includes Eddie Murphy, Aoife Spratt, Amy Dunne, Niall Morrissey, Jack O’Leary, Leah Egan, Lynsey Moran, Peter McGann, Aoibhín Murphy, Alexandra Christle, Molly O’Byrne and Paddy O’Leary. It was produced by Alan Slattery at Mycrofilms and shot by Ross Costigan.

For more, check out mycrofilms.com/daffney/

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Swerve Trailer

Mr. Tosspot and Vaughan

Here’s the trailer for a short film I wrote called Swerve. Directed by Ross Costigan, it will be premiering at Underground Film Festival on September 12th. Take a look see.

For more on the film visit mycrofilms.com/swerve

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The Union

The Union Main Poster

I’m directing the new Devious Theatre joint which opens tonight in Cleere’s Theatre, Kilkenny. It’s been a blast to work on and it’s been such a pleasure working with such a solid cast, crew and material. So yeah, come see it!

The Union by Adrian Kavanagh is a furiously funny dramatic retelling of the rise and fall of St. Dominic’s Student Union. The play takes place in the final days of the current student union regime in a failing regional college. Five erstwhile colleagues are locked in one room knowing that one of them stole the €10,060 fundraised cash that their reputations, hopes, dreams, careers and election campaigns are hinged on. Backs will be stabbed, hearts will be broke and throats will be cut. The clock is ticking. We’re going to see how united this Union really is.

Here’s the Rushmore riffing trailer for the show.

It runs in Cleeres Theatre from July 29th-August 1st. More info can be found on www.devioustheatre.com.

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Bridge Street Will Be

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I’ve written the script for the site specific show Bridge Street Will Be which is produced by Trasna Productions for this years Abhainn Rí Festival in Callan, Co. Kilkenny. It runs June 30th to July 4th on Bridge Street.

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Daffney Molloy And Other Catastrophes – Poster

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This is the first poster for my second short film (this was the first). We’re putting the final touches to it at the moment and hoping to premiere it at some point of 2015.

The film is a comedy set in present day Kilkenny about four friends who drown their sorrows while trading stories about a near mythical girl from their past. I was very lucky to work with a sterling cast on this including Eddie Murphy, Aoife Spratt, Amy Dunne, Niall Morrissey, Jack O’Leary, Leah Egan, Lynsey Moran, Peter McGann, Aoibhín Murphy, Alexandra Christle, Molly O’Byrne and Paddy O’Leary.

Trailer will follow…

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Vultures – The Radio Series

Vultures Radio

Vultures, a radio series I wrote and directed and use my voice acting in, is currently airing on KCLR96FM in a production from Devious Theatre.

I’m not hugely experienced when it comes to making radio so this was a tough, but welcome, challenge. The idea of doing a murder mystery radio serial was too hard to resist and I absolutely overindulged myself in making this. I sure do love the ol’ dick fic.

Here’s the synopsis:

Vultures focuses on the private detectives of Vulture Private Investigations, a small time detective agency in south east Ireland. Janine Drew, Dan McGrain, Jim Vultour and Niall Tennyson are the detectives in question and the story follows them as they get caught up in a suspenseful murder mystery at the Detective Union Of Ireland AGM. The show follows the varying perspectives of the four bungling sleuths as they trawl the corridors of Wisteria Lodge, searching for a killer, quizzing a colourful cast of suspects and trying to figure out who killed Ireland’s most famous detective Basil Maguire? And why?

The cast for the series includes Stephen Colfer, Ross Costigan, John Doran, Amy Dunne, Seán Hackett, Ken McGuire, Niamh Moyles, Suzanne O’Brien and David Thompson. It was produced and engineered by Ken McGuire with Alan Slattery as associate producer and an original score from David Sheenan. Here’s a trailer we put together for the show.

It airs each weekday at 1.45pm and 5.45pm on KCLR96FM. You can check out all the episodes so far, right here.

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