Last night I went to see ‘The Laramie Project’ – the final production by the students at the Gaiety School of Acting. Based on the 2000 play by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project, about the reaction to the 1998 homophobic murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in the small town of Laramie. The play draws on hundreds of interviews conducted by the theatre company with inhabitants of the town, journal entries, and published news reports. Last night ten actors portrayed more than sixty characters in a series of short scenes. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Laramie Project’
Currently in preview at the Gate Theatre is the stage adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s book ‘The Snapper’. The official opening is on Wednesday 20th June. Theatrical etiquette rules that reviewers don’t review plays until opening night. Preview shows are intended to allow the director and the cast to iron out any last minute issues with the play. I am going to ignore that rule – for the simple reason that I paid full whack for my preview ticket (no freebies for regular audience members). As the show I saw, was the fourth preview performance, if they are not about 99% stage ready by this point then they never will be. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Snapper’ at the Gate
Friday evening was spent at the theatre – the final evening show for ‘25/The Decriminalisation Monologues’ at Outhouse. Having written one of the monologues – ‘The Number’ – I had found it very difficult to watch my own piece initially. I was feeling a touch self-conscious and insecure about it. Not by Friday however. I had gotten over my nerves and was able to sit back and enjoy the entire show. It was a privilege to be included in this project. It is important to remember how different this country was in the very recent past – how cold, hard and cruel it was to anyone who fell outside the boundaries of what was considered ‘normal’ by mainstream society. How it crushed many people. But how people resisted and pushed back, eventually transforming the social landscape. I hope there will be continued life in ‘The Decrminaliation Monologues’ as it gives an insight to young people about those who fought, although their struggle is largely unknown to younger people. Continue reading Showbiz trooper
Yesterday evening, for the 2nd time this week I attended the theatre. For my delectation on this occasion, was ‘Fast Forward’ by Firedoor Theatre. Written by Jason Coburn – who wrote last year’s ‘The Lover’s Guide to Losing your Mind’ – this play was inspired by the ideas of the Firedoor Theatre Devising Group. Continue reading ‘Fast Forward’
Being a bit of a theatre buff – either front-of- or backstage – I attend a lot of plays and shows, and have met some very interesting and talented people as a result. Being a member of Firedoor Theatre has meant that the majority of my Irish theatre experience backstage has been with this specific group (although it would appear that I am branching out over the summer). As it is a fairly exclusive (in other words small) group, there is a limit on the number of projects that can be staged or promoted fully during the year. People occasionally need to branch out, if and when the opportunity arises. So was the case with one of the stars of the new play ‘Black Cherry’ by Krystal Sweedman, which is being performed as a staged reading, as part of the Scene and Heard Festival, at Smock Alley, on Saturday 17th February at 4pm. Continue reading Theatre times: ‘Black Cherry’
Firedoor Theatre runs weekly Wednesday/ acting workshops at a top secret city centre location (top secret as due to overwhelming demand, availability is limited – if more than the optimum numbers of people attend then the workshops become too crowded, which the group endeavours to prevent). I used to be the organiser of these workshops – in other words I would maintain the schedule, by booking a workshop facilitator approximately six weeks in advance; and then on the preceding Monday I would verify that they were still set for the Wednesday event. Those who cancelled several weeks in advance were readily forgiven; those who never responded to my last minute pleas for confirmation were never booked by me again. I’m like a vengeful elephant – I never forget.
The vast majority of facilitators attended on time and in full and have given us a series of entertaining and fulfilling workshops. The subjects can vary week to week – the Meisner Technique (apparently this dude is major when it comes to acting technique but I can never precisely remember what his methods are or what for). Other subjects are clowning; use of voice; audition workshops and the whole plethora of activities that make up the world of theatre. Continue reading Acting workshop: ‘Exploring the text’
Saturday morning, I sat sitting in my tastefully appointed home, when I started to wonder. What should I do today? Continue reading Theatre times: ‘Spamalot’
The Pavillion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire was my destination last night, to see ‘Forgotten’ – the one-man show written by and starring Pat Kinevane. Through the media of Japanese kabuki theatre and Irish storytelling. Kinevane tells the interlinked tales of four geriatrics living in care homes (or ‘assisted living facilities’ as they are so euphemistically described by Americans) in Ireland.
Continue reading Theatre times: ‘Forgotten’ by Pat Kinevane
Yesterday evening I went to clown class. It is part of an ongoing series of clowning workshops that have taken place with the theatre group, but the first one I could attend. Continue reading Murphy, the red-nosed clown.
Today is the shortest day of the year. The winter solstice. The day that the pagan Vikings threw their almighty winter bash to lift their depleted spirits, during this grimmest time of the year. The time of year into which the Christians installed Christmas – to replace the winter solstice. After all when you are replacing one set of beliefs for another, you need to make damned sure you keep the fun parts of the old traditions, or your new superstitions won’t be greeted with open arms.
Seeing as the day today is so short I may as well make use of the candlelight to write another year end list. This time for your reading delectation – the list of theatrical extravaganzas I have attended, written or participated in this year. Continue reading Listicles: Theatre Times