Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brokentalkers' Gary Keegan and Feidlim Cannon talk 'The Blue Boy'

Regular readers know how much a fan I am of Brokentalkers and how excited I am that The Blue Boy is right around the corner. I talked to Gary Keegan and Feidlim Cannon in The Lir last week and we discussed why these stories need to be told.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

WillFredd Theatre, 'FOLLOW': Breadcrumbs

The Lir, ABSOLUT Fringe 2011
Sept 13-17

My review of Follow coming up just as soon as I see another seahorse ...

Friday, September 23, 2011

THISISPOPBABY, 'The Year of Magical Wanking': Wake Up Your Saints

Project Arts Centre, ABSOLUT Fringe 2011
Sept 10-17

I hope you took my advice to go see Neil Watkins’ The Year of Magical Wanking. My review coming up just as soon as my bear falls unconscious on the couch ...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

THEATREclub, 'Twenty Ten': Youth Novels

Project Arts Centre, ABSOLUT Fringe 2011
Sept 10-15 (Omnibus on 17)

‘Spirit of the Fringe’-commissioned THEATREclub played the Fringe this year with Twenty Ten. Directors Grace Dyas and Doireann Coady told me the show was big. And that it was. My review coming up just as soon as I think Jim Dale should narrate all the audio books ...

donjuandemonaghan, ‘Luca & the Sunshine’: Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

Smock Alley Theatre, ABSOLUT Fringe 2011
Sept 14-18

I interviewed Nick Lee about his play Luca & the Sunshine and my gushing over the dream-team of him, Matt Torney and John Cronin. A few thoughts on the production coming up just as soon as I break this interrogatory proposal and put it back together piece by piece ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fringe Talk: Nick Lee

Nick Lee, author of 'Luca and the Sunshine'
If you’re a geek like me, sometimes you can see a show in the listings that can excite you not only by the concept of the play but also by those involved in the production of it.Pineapple earlier this year is a good example, a show which starred amongst a terrific cast the charming Nick Lee. Delightfully surprised I was to hear that Lee had written a play in ABSOLUT Fringe – Luca and the Sunshine – and further thrilled was I to hear that Matt Torney (Plaza SuiteThe Walworth Farce) was directing and John Cronin (The End of the RoadThe Sit) was performing. Lee talked to me about the play and the story of friendship, weather, and skype that brought it together.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THISISPOPBABY, ‘The Year of Magical Wanking’

Project Arts Centre, ABSOLUT Fringe 2011
Sept 10-17

I’ve been telling people about how moved I was by Neil Watkins’ excellent show, which is a funny and dark allegory of destructive homosexual behaviour in Catholic Ireland. I’m finding a lot of the time though that people stop listening as soon as I mention the title, which is incredibly apt but proving to be a hard-sell.  

I’ve decided that I’m going to wait to see it again before finishing my post on it (which well may be the closing show on Saturday). In the meantime, I strongly recommend that you don’t miss it.

Armoured with poetic verse, Watkins brings the internalised homophobia of man, nation, and spirituality to its knees. And the price is devastating.

What does everybody else think of The Year of Magical Wanking?

Rough Magic SEEDS Showcase, ‘Jumping Off The Earth’: Sailors Fighting In The Dance Hall

Project Arts Centre, ABSOLUT Fringe 2011
Sept 10-17

I reviewed Jumping Off The Earth for Irish Theatre Magazine, which you can read here.

The show’s good fun and I’ll watch José Miguel Jiménez and Brian Bennett’s work for a long time, but I doubt this will gain the indie stardom that their As You Are Now So Once Were We did. JOTE lacks the charm, technique and companionship that made As You Are so watchable, and when it tried to force its sentimental side we could care less. Really interested in seeing all these performers in more projects though, and the idea of a Jiménez and Aedín Cosgrove collaboration will always excite me.

Really interesting in hearing what everybody else thought.

Melanie Wilson, ‘Autobiographer’: Remembrance

Smock Alley Theatre, ABSOLUT Fringe 2011
Sept 9-11

My thoughts on Autobiographer coming up just as soon as I sit next to you on the piano stool ...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fringe Talk: Maeve Stone

Maeve Stone
It’s a shame that Maeve Stone didn’t name her theatre company “Spilt Vodka”. Fringe sponsors ABSOLUT could have had a field day with the advertising potential. I’m more of a gin man myself, and Stone and James Hickson’s Spilt Gin are canvassing the theatre scene in spectacular fashion with the assistance of their friends alone. I caught up with her to talk about their house party site-specific You Can’t Just Leave – There’s Always Something.

Fringe Talk: Grace Dyas and Doireann Coady

Shane Byrne, Doireann Coady and Grace Dyas of THEATREclub
I recently spoke to THEATREclub’s Grace Dyas (and eventually Doireann Coady) about their epic-sounding Twenty Ten. Read on to see what they had to say about the company’s Twenty Ten, Twenty Eleven (as well as a bit of Twenty Twelve), and why this will be the last time we’ll see their hands.

Fringe Talk: Meadhbh Haicéid

Meadhbh Haicéid of Waterdonkey

Among the boldest site-specific ideas at this year’s ABSOLUT Fringe is Waterdonkey’sHappening – a 12 hour ‘bed-in’ in a suite in the Gresham Hotel on Sunday Sept 18. Meadhbh Haicéid, the show’s director, was kind enough to shed some light on the event, the company’s recent fascination with John Lennon, and the escalating lightsaber violence in rehearsal.

Also: you may spot a wannabe impartial journalist sporting Lennon shades below. I’ve worked with Waterdonkey before and have on occasion lent my mug to their press images.

Fringe Talk: Oonagh Murphy and Shaun Dunne

Talking Shop Group - S Dunne, O Murphy, L Walsh, A Byrne
Shaun Dunne and Talking Shop Ensemble are teaming up once again, this time to consider the revelations and disillusionments of contemporary Ireland. Dunne himself has been going to psychic mediums for answers, which we will learn all about at their ABSOLUT Fringe show Do You Read Me?. I talked to Dunne and TSE’s Oonagh Murphy about their friendship, their work, and my obvious despondency from pop cultural references.

Fringe Talk: Richard Walsh, Zita Monahan and Martin Sharry

Richard Walsh, Zita Monahan and Martin Sharry of Side-Show Productions
In the first of two ABSOLUT Fringe interviews published today, Richard Walsh, Zita Monahan and Martin Sharry of Side-Show Productions discuss their melodramatic soap opera Dreams of Love, their favourite love stories, and whether or not “true love” exists.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fringe Talk: Sinéad O'Loughlin

Next in a series of interviews: Sinéad O’Loughlin talks about setting up Rampant with her best friend Katie Holmes (not Mrs. Cruise), the assault on feminism that led to their ABSOLUT Fringe debut Amy, I want to make you hard, and stealing Brokentalkers' production crew. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fringe Talk: Nyree Yergainharsian

The countdown to ABSOLUT Fringe 2011 is on, and in anticipation of its arrival you can find a new interview with a featured artist posted here each day.

Today it is Nyree Yergainharsian, member of 21st century theatre pioneers The Company and one of the country’s most charming performers, now running solo in search of her place in the world in Where Do I Start? (I reviewed an earlier incarnation of it –beware of spoilers! – here). I caught Nyree on the lunch hour of her nine-to-nine day where she was eating the most impressive sandwich I had ever seen.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Yaysterday, Tomorrow, Today

In my write-up on Theatre Forum’s conference in June I mentioned briefly that I talked with social media guru Darragh Doyle, who being the hilarious gent that he is was kind enough to answer what blog-related queries I had. In the last few weeks I have been talking to Darragh again, and he has since asked me to write about theatre for his arts and culture site www.yay.ie.

Established by Doyle, Stephanie Francis and Niamh Smith six months ago, Yay.ie has become a comprehensive guide to contemporary Irish theatre, music, film, and visual arts events, as well as a variety of other things (if you haven’t already, check out Doyle’s interview with Neil Watkins here). Being part of that coverage is incredibly exciting for me.

This won’t change anything on Musings in Intermissions, which continues to grow and engage beyond what I expected. In fact, what I write for both sites will be practically identical, if not entirely in many cases (just in case you think a mimic is out there impersonating me). Though I will reserve most of my venting rights for Musings.

I set up this blog to stimulate discussion on Irish theatre, and now I have not one but two platforms for me to do so. Go check out www.yay.ie ! I’ll see you over there (once I figure out all their technical doohickies).

Musings Listings: September 2011

Strap in folks. We’re about to head into the busiest time of the Irish theatre calendar. And there is a LOT on offer.

September is Fringe month as ABSOLUT Fringe 2011 takes over Dublin city with 82 different shows. Won’t be going too much into that here (consult my guide), but suffice it to say that the three shows I’m most excited about are The Corn Exchange’s Man of Valour, THISISPOPBABY’s The Year of Magical Wanking (its beau poet pictured above), and José Miguel Jiménez’s Jumping Off The Earth (now confirmed with action man Brian Bennett attached). Shows I neglected in that post which deserve more mention than I gave them include Tim Watt’s The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, now regarded a gem at last month’s Edinburgh Fringe; Junk Ensemble’s Bird With Boy in Kilmanham Jail (you’ll understand why when I post my interview with them); and Maurice Joseph Kelliher’s dance/theatre culprit Criminal Queers and Veronica Dyas’ site-specific In My Bed for their suspected daring and noble use of subject matter. For all information on ABSOLUT Fringe 2011 go to: http://www.fringefest.com/ .