Tag Archives: watergate theatre

The Hellfire Squad

The Hellfire Squad - Main Poster

Say your prayers, The Hellfire Squad have risen.

Here’s the first look at the titular band of assassins assembled by Michael Collins in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising. They will be brought to the stage in Devious Theatre’s newest production next month.

A work blessing, gun running, porter swilling, scheme hatching, agent killing, hooley throwing, ballad singing, yarn spinning, card playing, hurl swinging, bomb rigging, shit kicking, freedom fighting, bullet spewing, hell blazing shower of miscreants as you’ll ever meet. God bless the work.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to put anything on the stage and I don’t think I ever will be again. Peter McGann and myself have been working on it for the past number of years and Sarah Baxter is currently doing a damn fine job of directing us into shape. The great costumes here are designed by Helen McGinty with some damn fine photography and design from Ken McGuire.

The show plays Project Arts Centre, Dublin from July 18-23 and Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny from July 28-30. For more visit devioustheatre.com

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God Bless The Work…

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After 7 years of mild to intensive labour, Peter McGann and myself have finally given birth to The Hellfire Squad. It’ll be the first play focusing solely on Michael Collins infamous hit squad, a Dirty Dozen style adventure about the assembly, training and deployment of a bunch of mismatched assassins in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising. I’m very excited to debut this new play as part of Devious Theatre’s 10th birthday programme, handily entitled Devious 10. The production will be directed by the brilliant Sarah Baxter, who I mostly recently worked with on Taboo, and produced by the bold Ken McGuire, who I have worked on a stupid amount of theatre with over the past 10 years. It will take its debut bow in Project Arts Centre, Dublin from 18-23 July and Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny from 28-30 July as part of this years Alternative Kilkenny Arts programme. God bless the work.

We are about to launch a Fund It campaign for the play so keep an eye out for that and maybe help support the cause.

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No Love, Just War

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Very excited that my play War Of Attrition is returning this December for a run in Project Arts Centre in Dublin and the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny.

The play had a successful debut run last year at Dublin Fringe Festival before making its way to Galway Theatre Festival. It received 4 star reviews from Irish Theatre Magazine and The Irish Times as well as garnering a Fringe Awards nomination for Best Female Performer for Roseanna Purcell’s role as Daisy. John Doran and myself are rejoining her in the cast and director Niamh Moroney will be back to crack the whip on us.

As the synopsis for the show goes:

Daisy is an unwitting internet celebrity, the ‘Psycho Chugger’ whose video currently has 178, 234 views on Youtube – it is ruining her life.

Alan, a blogger by the name of Generalissimo Malaise who claims to target the ‘everyday arsehole’, is the one who made it.

And Chris, well he just got caught in the crossfire.

There will be casualties when a nasty game of one-upmanship descends into a relentless war. War Of Attrition is a destructively comic thriller that takes you from parties on the streets of Dublin to the darkest parts of the internet where revolution is brewing.

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The show plays The Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny from December 9th-11th and Project Arts Centre, Dublin from December 15th-20th. Tickets for both shows can now be booked online.

I was delighted with the response to the show last year so I’m absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to present the show again. For all info on the show, keep an eye on devioustheatre.com

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Hot Water Bottle Comes Home

hotwaterbottle4My short film Hot Water Bottle has its first hometown screening today as part of this years Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny. The film will screen as part of the Kitty Flix Presents Comedy Shorts Showcase at 4pm in The Watergate Theatre.

It’s great to finally debut it in our hometown, especially as part of such a fantastic festival. We all grew up on the Cat Laughs and it’s a real privilege to show some work at the festival. It’s also quite apt to debut the film in Kilkenny at our most walk of shame laden weekend. Tickets for the screenings can be bought here.

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Living Dead Revisited

I spent the bulk of my time last year working on the Irish stage premiere of Night Of The Living Dead for Devious Theatre. It had been a few years since we had done a ‘marquee’ play and our own take on Romero’s zombie horror fest was something that we had put into the works back in 2009. Sometimes you just need to do a big crowd pleasing comic horror, y’know? (See also, Cannibal! The Musical in 2007).

During In The Future When All’s Well in 2011, myself and Connie Walsh started writing it and then last year it all came together. Getting to co-write and direct the show was too much fun and the team we put together were fantastic. All in all, it was exactly the big zombie play set I always wanted to fool around with. I would have loved more performance time for the show as I think it could have really clicked but with only 5 nights to play with, we made a bloody glorious mess with what we had. In the end, it is by far the biggest hit show Devious Theatre have ever done and more people came to see it than anything we’ve done before… which was nice.

In the past few weeks, we’ve managed to release some new material from the show. Ken McGuire cut together a really nice look at some of the show highlights which you can see above. Ross Costigan has also released some new photos from the show, including the above photo of myself in cameo zombie mode, and you can check them out here.

For more on the production itself, check out nightofthelivingdead.ie

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The Night Of The Living Dead Rises…

Devious Theatre’s production of Night Of The Living Dead opens tonight in The Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny.

It’s the culmination of a massive year’s work and I can’t get my head around how quickly it’s arrived. You always think it seems so far away but no, it always creeps up on you. Like a zombie, aptly enough. But after a long, bloody birth, our biggest, nastiest baby to date is about to hit Kilkenny’s biggest stage for the first time.

Myself and Connie Walsh spent a long time working on the script for this one. It’s been a blast getting to play with the entire history of zombie fiction and I hope we’ve written something that pays respectful homage to it. We’ve tried to write a version of the story that’s new, fresh, funny and uniquely Irish whilst also staying close to Romero’s vision of the origins of an undead apocalypse. If you’re a fan of zombie fiction I’m confident there’s a lot you’ll like about this.

The cast and crew have been powerhouses all round as we bring our vision of the end of the world to an Irish stage for the first time. A director just couldn’t ask for a better team. Most of them are majorly tired and can’t get fake blood off their clothes so it helps to keep them sweet as much as possible.

Word from the box office is that we’re nearly sold out tonight which is a massive achievement and it will be amazing to play to a near full house for our debut performance of the show. It’s been a long haul to get here but finally, the first ever Irish zombie stage play and the Irish premiere of Night Of The Living Dead is ready to rise…. we hope to see you invade.

Night Of The Living Dead runs from tonight July 24th – 28th in The Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny. Bookings can be made on 056 – 7761674 or online here. Check out www.nightofthelivingdead.ie for more details.

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They Won’t Stay Dead

The final character poster for Devious Theatre’s upcoming zombie smackdown Night Of The Living Dead went online last week. Now the collection is complete! I would hope the cool, youngsters of today will flock around town trying to collect the entire set, Panini sticker collection style. But then I realise that we’ll have wasted a lot of money and advertising. 🙁

This poster introduces Ben, the main character of both the play and original film, played by Eddie Murphy. You may notice that he’s not black but Romero said that wasn’t an issue in the original and we believe him so we’re going to stick to our guns here by casting white boy Eddie. Our version of the character originally played by Duane Jones is ironically a racist, sexist, foul mouthed, pissed off unemployed construction worker. Which in itself was a really good excuse to give him some handy implements to kill people with.

The show is now 2 weeks off opening and the pressure (and hype and expectancy) is really starting to amp up. Last night we went from one physically intense sequence to another so I guess my main concern at this stage is keeping the actors alive for long enough to do the play. Fingers crossed.

Night Of The Living Dead runs from July 24th – 28th in The Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny. Check out www.nightofthelivingdead.ie for more details.

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Sketch Five-O

There’s only one more day to get a look at Ross Costigan’s Coming Soon exhibition in The Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny.

Here’s myself and Ken McGuire in the fake poster for Sketch Five-O proving that everything you hear about men in uniform isn’t exactly true. Although, personally, I’d watch anything approved by Danny Glover.

If you don’t get to see the exhibition in person, check out the images over here.

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In A Theatre Near You

Coming Soon is the first exhibition of photography from Ross Costigan. And Ross Costigan is the guy who puts the Ross Costigan in Ross Costigan Photography.

I’ve worked with Ross on more projects than I’d care to mention since I was 17. I’m still working on projects with him. He’s an all rounder and a top man. I had the pleasure of being one of the subjects for Coming Soon, which as you may have guessed, is an exhibition of fake movie posters. Myself and Ken McGuire got to go Bad Boys for our poster which proves without doubt that some men do not look good in uniform. Just me. Ken looks great. (That’s me in the N above. I have Garda hair apparently)

It opened in the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny last Thursday night and the whole exhibition runs until January 13th. If you get a chance to see it, you really should. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen exhibited in the Watergate Theatre and it’s a really unique exhibition. Also, there may be some popcorn left. Get your sneak peek while you still can!

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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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