Tag Archives: john morton

Play Mongering

A couple of my plays are now for sale on Playography Ireland if you’re the kind of person who likes buying and reading plays. Here’s what’s for sale at the moment.

Taboo (2016)

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Taboo is a black comedy about the first date between a girl who doesn’t get out very much and a man who has trouble meeting new people. Lily cooks a three course meal. Tom brings flowers and wine. On the surface, everything seems fine. But in the modern world, dating is a surprisingly complex thing with a lot of unwritten rules.

“Morton’s script is by turns hilarious, and heart wrenching; and there is a good balance of well-observed naturalism and heightened drama” Emily Elphinstone, No More Workhorse

 “A smart critique of dating in a modern world dogged by endless apps and devices” Chris McCormack, Exeunt Magazine

War Of Attrition (2013)

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War Of Attrition is a comic thriller about a girl who attempts to track down the man behind the viral video that destroyed her life. With the help of a homeless drifter, she ensnares him. Soon all three develop a tense friendship that leads towards revolution.

“…funny, sharp, relevant and delivered with panache” Una Mullally, The Irish Times

“An Easter Rising / Wikileaks mash up … the bang-on zeitgeistsy script is backed up by excellent use of live technology, and a completely believable spiralling chain of events.” – Susan Conley, Irish Theatre Magazine

Smitten (2008/2011)

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Smitten is a musical comedy about Claire, a former nurse, who returns to her hometown to try and fix the emotional wreckage she left in the wake of her emigration years previously.

“Morton uses all characters to convey the myriad of emotions we all experience, whether female or male but he encourages us to fight against them and think before we act.” Darragh Doyle, Yay.ie

“As ever, there is a newness, a freshness, an in-your faceness about Morton’s work” Liam Murphy, The Munster Express.

If you’d like to purchase any of them you can do so from the links on each title or right here.

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De Tempst

Or The Tempest if you like proper spelling and grammar. I’m very lucky and delighted to be making another directing contribution to this years TEXT | Messages in Project Arts Centre. This time I’ll be directing, yup, The Tempest.

TEXT | Messages is a brilliant project that gives directors a chance to take 160 lines of Shakespeare and do whatever you want with them. But the rub is, the lines must be consecutive and there’s no editing. So you need to roll up your sleeves and get nice and inventive! I’ve joined up with my muckers Stephen Colfer, John Doran and Eddie Murphy to come up with the goods on this one and we’ve put together a really nice tale of two drunken bog monsters who get kicked out of a Dublin nightclub and end up getting involved with a scheming native homeless man. So same text, different story. From our Dreamstuff days (which took its name from The Tempest funnily enough) to Devious Theatre’s Shakespeare In Bits battle rap in 2009, myself and the fellows have done an awful lot of Shakespeare tinkering over the years so it’s great to work with them on something new. Like last years version of Pyramus and Thisbe from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we’ve come up with a similarly twisted take on The Tempest. And of course, we’re playing it for laughs.

We are only on for one night only… TONIGHT! So if you fancy it, you’ll get three ‘messages’ for the princely sum of €5. There are also two other nights, as lovingly curated and produced by Aoife Spillane-Hinks, Conor Hanratty and Megan Riordan so plenty of choice all round! Kick off is 8.15pm in Project Arts Centre and you can get more booking details here!

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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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Hot Water Bottle

This is the poster for a film I made called Hot Water Bottle.

It was designed by Paddy Dunne, one of the producers on the film. The other producer is Alan Slattery. The three of us also made the webcom Vultures.

It’s the first non Vultures creative project that Mycrofilms have undertaken. The second is Baby Love by Terrence White which is out later this year. Two more short films will go into production for 2012 and they’re probably going to be even better because that’s how these things roll.

We got the funding to shoot Hot Water Bottle in 2009. We started shooting it in 2010. We finished shooting it in 2011. There will be a trailer for it sometime very, very soon. The film itself is currently being sent out to a variety of festivals who may or may not want to show it to people.

I will write more about it in proportion to the amount of content I have to show off.

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A Trailer For Smitten

With 2 days to go before Smitten begins, the final part of Devious Theatre’s In The Future When All’s Well season has gotten itself a trailer.

    We shot this trailer in the Arts Office about 2 weeks ago before we took our jaunt down to Cork to open the show at Solstice. It’s a fairly succinct mix of exposition, character intro, comedy and musical. All shot in one handy, editable take!

    Check it out here and if you like it, maybe tell your friends and get them to come!

    Smitten plays Kilkenny Arts Office from June 26th – July 2nd at 8pm nightly. Tickets can be bought at the venue, booked on 0861048191 and bought online at tickets.devioustheatre.com

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    A Look At Andersen’s Fairytales

    The poster has just been unveiled for Dreamstuff Youth Theatre’s new production Andersen’s Fairytales: The Adventures Of Hans Christian Andersen. The reason I’m writing about it is because I, eh, wrote it. This is my 6th play to write for Dreamstuff, well, 6th on my own if I don’t count the ones I wrote with Mike Kelly, Philip Brennan and Stephen Colfer. I have literally been writing for Dreamstuff since I was 17. Which is a scary, scary realisation.


    The above photo features Alan Doyle as Hans Christian Andersen, Ruth Phelan as half fish, half girl Ariel and Ben Murphy as the famed ogre hunter Emile Pussenbootz. In the usual Dreamstuff style, it’s got a lot of comedy, often surreal, mostly inappropriate, but I hope, very true to the original fairytales.

    I’m a bit of a fairytale obsessive so when Angela Barrett gave me the commission for this year’s play and asked me what I wanted to do, I blurted ‘Andersen’s Fairytales!’ and then excused myself and explained that because we’re in the middle of Dreamstuff 10, the idea of doing a sequel to a past show seemed like a good idea. Luckily, she agreed. They’re currently balls deep in rehearsals for the play and it’s one I’m really excited about. The current Dreamstuff troupe are an amazing bunch of actors, as anyone who saw Dreamstuff 10 will attest to, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with all my cheap, crude jokes.

    The play is a sequel to another one I wrote, Grimm Fairytales: The Adventures Of The Brothers Grimm, starring Ross Costigan and David Thompson as the titular Grimms. Hence, they have similar posters (and props to Thomas Horvath for this one). Grimm Fairytales appeared in December 2004 (and at the time set a house record for a Dreamstuff show) and six years later we’re going back to the fairytale well. This time there’s obviously a different protagonist and a new story with a whole new cast of fairytale characters. There’s a lot of similarities in both plays, but I assure you, it won’t detract from your enjoyment if you didn’t see a play that ran for a week six years ago. But if you did happen to catch Grimm Fairytales, there’ll be a few surprises you’ll appreciate. Why, maybe even some characters.

    I’ll probably write up something more on Andersen’s Fairytales as it approaches, but please do not let the stigma often attached to youth theatre detract you from attending. This isn’t going to be some cutesie panto. It’s going to a brand new comedy with a really fantastic cast of young comic actors directed by a most brilliant director staged by a company with a proven track record of quality over 10 years. And I’m also pushing this hard because the audience guzzling behemoth that is Scrooge plays the week beforehand. It also played before Grimm’s Fairytales back in 2004 and it didn’t do it any harm so hopefully the omens are good for this one too. Plus, this play actually has snow in it so if the leftover snow from Scrooge keeps getting on the stage it won’t look too odd, as it did in a certain enchanted forest six years ago.

    Andersen’s Fairytales: The Adventures Of Hans Christian Andersen runs in the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny from 15th – 18th December 2010.

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