Tag Archives: smitten

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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Daffney Molloy And Other Catastrophes

With Smitten gone off the RTÉ Player it seemed as good a time as any to put Daffney Molloy And Other Catastrophes online.

It’s a short comedy based on the same play with a lot of the same characters and actors (except me and Niall Morrissey who are the ‘Pippas’ of this short) and it’s set after Smitten so it kind of works as a follow up episode! And there probably won’t be a follow up episode so best enjoy this one! The film can be summed up as “Drowning their various sorrows at a housewarming party, four friends trade stories about a near mythical girl from their past.”

It premiered at last years IndieCork and also played this years Chicago Irish Film Festival. Enjoy!

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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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Struck, As With Hard Blow

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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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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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Daffney Molloy And Other Catastrophes

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Here’s the first few pictures from my new short film Daffney Molloy And Other Catastrophes. It’s currently in both post and pre-production with Mycrofilms. It’s a story about stories so we’ve got the story part filmed, stories yet to be filmed. The synopsis for the film is thus:

A comedy set in present day Kilkenny, it tells the story of four catastrophes of men who, whilst drowning their sorrows at a housewarming party, get caught up in stories about a near mythical girl from their past. Apart from one of them. Crippled with social anxiety and struggling with his newly found sobriety, Tommy has no idea who Daffney Molloy is. As the yarns are spun, he begins to question how much of what he’s hearing is reality and how much of it is fantasy.

It’s adapted from my play Smitten which Devious Theatre produced a couple of times. Why I’ve gone for a longer title for the short is beyond me but shur, look. I’m very lucky to have a great cast on this one including Eddie Murphy, Jack O’Leary, Niall Morrissey, Peter McGann, Aoife Spratt, Amy Dunne, Lynsey Moran, Leah Egan, Alexandra Christle, Paddy O’Leary and Aoibhín Murphy. It’s produced by Alan Slattery and shot by Ross Costigan with a great crew on board. As was the case with the play itself, it’s nice to make something that’s set in Kilkenny and about the relationship between the place and the people who live in it. Got a good chunk of work still to do so we’ll be premiering it in 2015.

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Smitten Trailer

The trailer for our production of Smitten from June 2011. It ran as part of Devious Theatre’s In the Future When All’s Well season and Solstice during Cork Midsummer Festival.

www.devioustheatre.com

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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!

Enjoy!

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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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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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