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.