Theatre Category

2046

June 25, 2016 • devious theatre, 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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3631

March 14, 2016 • devious theatre, Theatre

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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1818

February 7, 2016 • Theatre

Taboo

Taboo_poster_webIn an ideal world, I’d write a play and it would be put on and people would show up and you could just afford to let the work speak for itself. But the machinery of theatre hustle needs oil so here are some words on my new play Taboo and maybe you’ll read them and consider coming to see it.

Taboo is about the first date between a boy and a girl. Their names are Lily and Tom. Lily doesn’t get out much. Tom finds it hard to meet people. They don’t know each other very well but that’s what a date is for, right? You get to know someone a little bit better. The play unfolds in real time over a three-course meal. They chat. They eat. And then the rest of the story plays out and I’ll say nowt.

What’s it about? It’s a dark comedy about dating in a roundabout way. It’s also about loneliness in all its forms: social exclusion, fear of dying alone, incompatibility, as well as having trouble connecting to people. In a world where more of our interactions take place online (including dating) I thought it would be interesting to look at two people trying to connect in a very traditional way.

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It’s my fifth full length play to reach the stage (and first outside the nurturing bosom of Devious Theatre). With every play you write, you’re trying to do something different and stretch in some way. Although I noticed that by the time I’d finished this one, I had a habit of writing plays in pairs, usually taking different angles on whatever themes or preoccupations were on my mind at the time. My first two plays (Heart Shaped Vinyl, Smitten) were both musical comedies, set in Kilkenny with large ensembles and twenty something characters trying to figure out whether they were staying or going, both geographically and in terms of relationships/friendships. The next two (Scratcher, War Of Attrition) were angry, dole fuelled, media baiting, paranoid slices of agitprop about being angry with the establishment and fighting back. Taboo is number five but it wasn’t supposed to be. That was actually Tenterhooks, which I’ve had staged as a short play and a work in progress. But Taboo came along and got itself ready first and a lot of the themes I was interested in for Tenterhooks bled into that. Which is when I realised that I was writing in pairs and now I’m hyper aware of it so I really should stop doing that thing. Those themes were loneliness, people falling through the cracks of society and I guess, toying with settling down. Tenterhooks is still being worked on and will hopefully arrive in time but Taboo is getting served up first.

Taboo Poster large

The title, and indeed, the germ of the idea came from Lisa Fox and we developed it for Collaborations in 2014. It was a 20 minute one woman piece about a girl nervously preparing for a date. I pretty much just creeped on the audience watching it and the reaction was interesting. Some audience members were silent, maybe a bit shocked, but there was a sense of discomfort that was punctured by the ones who were laughing loudl. It was split down the middle. And that’s kind of what we were hoping for. Some people not getting why other people find something funny or conversely people not understanding why other people wouldn’t find it funny. This schism is the play itself in a nutshell and the relationship between the characters. Connection isn’t an easy thing to find.

The real time chat, for me, was one of the challenges of this play. I’ve never written anything that unfolds in real time so I got to scratch that itch. It’s a lot more challenging than I had expected. Particularly when you include a full three course meal. I didn’t make it too easy on Sarah Baxter, our wonderful director, who has risen to the challenge impeccably and made a story about two people sitting down and eating even more dynamic and layered than I ever imagined when I was writing it.

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I’m acting in it alongside the aforementioned Lisa Fox, who has brilliantly cooked her role over the last two years and I’m very excited to be bringing it to the stage. There’s a fantastic team working on it and it’s been ably supported throughout its development by White Label, Rough Magic and DCC who have been a great help.

It feels like I’ve said more enough about the play now and I hope my ramblings here have given you a taster and persuade you to indulge in the full three courses. Speaking of tasters, here’s an interview we did with RTÉ Arena about the show. Buy a ticket and ideally, go for a meal beforehand. It’s good to get in the spirit of things.

Taboo plays The New Theatre from February 15th to 27th at 7.30pm nightly. You can book tickets right here.

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1406

December 14, 2015 • devious theatre, Theatre

Shut Up And Play The Hits

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Over Devious Theatre way, 10th birthday celebrations are about to kick in for 2016 and the first announcement of what we’re calling Devious 10 has been made. The first Devious Theatre production (and my first play to boot) Heart Shaped Vinyl is getting a fresh spin in a new version in May 2016.

Heart Shaped Vinyl is a theatrical mix tape focusing on pop music, relationships and a whole lot of heartbreak in Ireland over the course of six decades. Originally set between 1962 and 2006, this new version adds a brand new story set in the years 2014 and 2016. The play is broken into Side A and Side B, both of which tell a different side of six different stories featuring an ensemble cast of 14 actors. Here’s the very first poster:

HSV Original

First performed in Cleeres Theatre in August 2006, the show was restaged in June 2007 and again for a one off Rockfall show in October 2007. It’s had a good life since then with a lot of college drama socs and am dram companies producing it. First time we did this show, we were so scared of being a ‘grown up’ theatre company that I didn’t have my name on it as the writer (god bless you Billy Shears) and we made up a fictional director for it (the late Tony M. Everard). Pups we were. It’s weird to return to your first play after 10 years and curse all the things you did when you were starting out. That being said, it seems like a fitting way to cap off what’s been a great 10 year run with a little theatre company we set up in a coffee shop in Kilkenny back in May 2006. So yeah, we’re shutting up and playing the hits. Heart Shaped Vinyl returns to Cleeres Theatre, Kilkenny for eight performances only from 18th-21st and 25th-28th May 2016. The rest of our Devious 10 programme will be launched in the new year. If you want to grab tickets for the show, they’re already on sale right here.

Also, this here is some solid work from Paddy Dunne, who designed the very first Heart Shaped Vinyl teaser in 2006 and who delivered another cracker here for the reissue.

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1305

July 29, 2015 • devious theatre, Theatre

The Union

The Union Main Poster

I’m directing the new Devious Theatre joint which opens tonight in Cleere’s Theatre, Kilkenny. It’s been a blast to work on and it’s been such a pleasure working with such a solid cast, crew and material. So yeah, come see it!

The Union by Adrian Kavanagh is a furiously funny dramatic retelling of the rise and fall of St. Dominic’s Student Union. The play takes place in the final days of the current student union regime in a failing regional college. Five erstwhile colleagues are locked in one room knowing that one of them stole the €10,060 fundraised cash that their reputations, hopes, dreams, careers and election campaigns are hinged on. Backs will be stabbed, hearts will be broke and throats will be cut. The clock is ticking. We’re going to see how united this Union really is.

Here’s the Rushmore riffing trailer for the show.

It runs in Cleeres Theatre from July 29th-August 1st. More info can be found on www.devioustheatre.com.

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1131

June 24, 2015 • Theatre

Bridge Street Will Be

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I’ve written the script for the site specific show Bridge Street Will Be which is produced by Trasna Productions for this years Abhainn Rí Festival in Callan, Co. Kilkenny. It runs June 30th to July 4th on Bridge Street.

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1211

January 14, 2015 • devious theatre, Theatre

The Centre Of You

centreoftheuniverse

Devious Theatre will be producing this years run of John Doran’s one man show The Centre Of The Universe which I directed as one of the Show In A Bag offerings at the 2014 Tiger Dublin Fringe festival.

The Centre Of The Universe tells the story of John, a young man down on his luck, unemployed and drinking too much. On the day of his first job interview for ages, his neuroses and insecurities come crashing down on him resulting in a whole new way of approaching life. John decides to set up his own cult. And he’s at the centre of it. Over the course of this engaging, informative talk, he explains how you can join him…

The show plays Quarter Block Party, Cork and Cleere’s Theatre, Kilkenny next month. Here’s all the details.

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1131

October 5, 2014 • devious theatre, Theatre

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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1390

September 15, 2014 • Theatre, Uncategorized

A Cult For You

10623492_10152903087728676_8553289367359675772_oJohn Doran’s one man show The Centre Of The Universe which I directed is currently going great guns at this years Tiger Dublin Fringe. It’s one of this years Show In A Bag offerings and has garnered a couple of nice reviews since it opened, check them out here and here.

10631052_10152900136648676_796277500093288867_oIt’s running until this Saturday night so check it out if you want to see a masterclass of physical comedy from a seriously talented performer. You can book tickets here.

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1369

August 10, 2014 • Theatre, White Label

White Label

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After many months of plotting and planning, I’m delighted to finally launch White Label.

It’s the name of a brand new theatre outfit in Dublin that I’m working with. The idea (as per the name) is to create a new model for theatre making in Ireland, in this case along the lines of an independent record label. So a theatre label, basically. The proper official mission statement from the group is: “We are nine independent, professional, theatre makers working together to redesign our creative landscape, to make it better for us and for you.”

The nine of us, apart from myself, are Joanna Crawley, James Hickson, Rosemary McKenna, Louise Melinn, Aisling Murray, Máirín O’Grady, Ronan Phelan and Hugh Travers. We just launched last Tuesday with The Eurydice Project. It was a nice low key launch and allowed us to finally stop feeling like a weird secret sect hanging around town, slowly drinking long pots of tea and whispering. It’s done, it’s out there and now we just need to make work. And luckily enough, we’ve got some very exciting projects lined up. In fact, you’ll be able to see (A)pollonia at this years Dublin Theatre Festival. I’m really excited about what we’re brewing, but we’re taking some good old school baby steps as we progress. For all the info on White Label and what we’re doing, please check out our website and follow the social media bits and bobs.

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