Tag Archives: comedy

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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Getting The Shift

As the dust settles on our In The Future When All’s Well residency in Kilkenny Arts Office, we’re slowly starting to get around to organising the archive of material that came out of it. Which it turns out, is a shit load.

We’ve been putting a DVD together for Shifting with a few extra bits and pieces and it seemed as opportune a time as any to show a bit of it off on the internet. Out of the 3 plays we produced in the past 6 months I think this one was my favourite and I only wish we could have run if for longer, but hey, at least we have it preserved so I’m not going to complain.

This scene from Shifting opens the second act with a good old drunken sing song. We had plenty of precedence for putting this together in fairness. Most parties at Devious Theatre usually involve Bohemian Rhapsody at some stage so this was all too familiar to us.

Out of the context of the play, this is just a bunch of teenagers being drunk and singing Bohemian Rhapsody. And yeah, in context, that’s pretty much it too!


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Grievously Stricken

Which is in fact one of the dictionary definition terms for the word smitten.

After my play Smitten finished in Kilkenny on Saturday night after a 7 night run and a trip to Cork for Solstice, I feel pretty much the same. Well stricken. A whole bunch of post show blues that are made all the worse by the fact that we’re finishing up our In The Future When All’s Well residency in Kilkenny Arts Office after 6 months. I feel like a child who’s lost his favourite ball. Or that dog that sits on graves. Having being so busy with Scratcher, Shifting and Smitten, it’s going to be a bit odd to be getting back to being slightly less busy.

But I’ve got some really nice projects lined up and Devious Theatre have some big news coming soon so the future is indeed bright.

And as for Smitten, all I can say is that I’m delighted with the reaction that the show got. The comedy and the musical seemed to mesh really well and people seemed to prefer it to the first production. Which I guess was the point of doing it again. Also, following on from Scratcher and Shifting it would have been a shame to let the ball drop. Especially if you end up looking really stupid while dancing.

I’m not resting on my laurels too much and I’m currently working on the post show 10th draft of Smitten. There’s a lot that needs to be taken out and added in so that’ll be nice little job for the next few days.

So yeah, 3 plays, 6 months… I’m gonna get some rest. The End.

Thanks to Nathanael McDonald and Pat Moore for the photos.

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Smitten Hits Cork

It’s been a pretty crazy couple of weeks as we at Devious Theatre prep the new production of my play Smitten.

One of the most exciting aspects of this restaging of the show is that we’re going to be debuting it down in Cork during Solstice as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival. It opens this Thursday at 6pm on the 3rd Floor of the Old FÁS Building on Sullivan Quay.  I’m really excited about taking the show down to Cork for the following reasons:

1. Devious Theatre have never been in Cork.

2. Solstice has an amazing line up and we can’t wait to dive into it.

3. We love Cork. It has great pubs and places to eat and looks really nice in the sunshine.

So yeah, that pretty much sums it up. It all makes up for the fact that my current hair and beard combo for the play makes me look like Cormac Battle/Chino from Deftones/Elijah Wood/Timmy Mallett or a ‘bad Slovakian death metaller’. Yeah, makes sense.

We’re calling this version of Smitten ‘a play that wants to be a musical’ but otherwise we’ve termed it ‘a romantic comedy about rain, recession and why dance sequences are harder in real life’. It’s a lot different than the 2008 version of the play but if it’s comedy/theatrics/musical interludes and profanity you’re into, then this should tickle some of your fancies.

You can find all details on the play over on the Devious Theatre website. I’ll also be writing a lot more about the play in the coming weeks as we approach the Kilkenny opening on June 26th.

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Finishing Shifting

Shifting took it’s final bow on Saturday night to it’s sixth standing ovation and sixth consecutive sold out show.

Suffice to say, it was one of the most successful shows in the 5 year history of Devious Theatre. All the more remarkable considering it had a completely new (and youthful) cast, a debut script from a brand new writer and no name value bar any name value the company might have.

We definitely don’t take for granted that our shows will turn into red hot sell outs so we always push the promo material really hard. All the more so when you’ve got a new show to sell. We pushed it hard in terms of promo videos, posters, radio vignettes and promo images. I guess we always underestimated (as we do), the appeal of new work. Especially when we work in a town where the familiar staple is king, be it pantomime, John B.Keane or musical. However, this was the first time where we saw that our focus on new work is enough in itself. That maybe we didn’t need to push new work extra hard. We just needed to do it. And we just needed to do it because people wanted to see original work. And there’s always going to be a hunger for it.

The cast were excellent. Excellent to work with, consistent in their delivery, a joy to direct and everything you want in actors: committed, dedicated, reliable and inventive. I know I’m in danger of gush overload but they absolutely made the play and we were so proud to have them as part of our company. The cast are going to go far I think and we’ll definitely be using them again. The same goes for the teenage members of our crew who were all committed, dedicated and on the ball. I must give special praise to Eleanor Walsh, our assistant director who diligently wrote everything down and never missed one single rehearsal.

I worked with John Kennedy for the past 5 months on the script. It wasn’t the ideal amount of time for him. It wasn’t the ideal amount of time for us. It’s just how it worked out. We knew what we wanted. He knew what he wanted to write. He was delighted to be able to write plenty of ‘fuck’s’ and ‘cocks’ and have no one censor him. We found a middle ground, gave John all the resources and support that he needed and at the beginning of March he delivered a script. His very first completed play. Shifting was everything we wanted it to be and in the end it was everything a teen audience wanted. As we saw when they came rushing in to buy the opening night €5 tickets. Cheapskates. But yeah, teenagers get ‘pandered’ to or generally condescended but they rarely get spoken to, honestly and directly, in theatre. That was our main objective. And that was why we wanted a teenage writer to do that. Anything else would just be extrapolation.

The reviews have been sweet so far. You can read some of them here and also, here. It was possibly my most favourite play I’ve worked on. I’ve had an overwhelming sense of pride and joy (along with festering regret and hole poking) in everything we’ve done with Devious Theatre. But this one might have been the best. Maybe because it was the best. But maybe, because above everything, it was all about the future.


The Shifting Posters

I’m currently directing, Shifting, the second part of Devious Theatre’s ‘In The Future When All’s Well’ series. The play is written by John Kennedy who has been working on it since the end of last year and throughout the first 3 months of our residency in Kilkenny Arts Office. It’s a funny, charming and bittersweet look at the inevitable intersection between your teenage years and adulthood. In fact, in terms of previous Devious Theatre plays I like to call this one our John Hughes. That’s kicking the hypometer up to a high point but fuck it, no harm in aiming high.

We’ve just released 3 individual character posters for Shifting as designed by Paddy Dunne, the magician behind all of our promo imagery. It’s basically 12 teenagers on a couch. What’s not to love?

Shifting plays in No. 76 John Street from April 18th – 23rd. Tickets are onsale in No. 76, online at DeviousTheatre.com or can be booked on 056 – 7794138. If anyone’s looking for discounts, the opening night is only €5!

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