Fringe Talk: Richard Walsh, Zita Monahan and Martin Sharry
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.
Richard, Martin: are ye in love with Zita?
Zita: (whispering) Yes.
Martin: Definitely. Love is what binds us all.
Richard: I tell you what though: when we separated after Dreams of Love [in February] I felt like a jilted lover. That pang of remorse. I missed her.
Martin: And I could really see that!
Zita: (laughs) Martin hasn’t come to terms with how much he missed me.
Tell me about how Side-Show was formed.
Martin: The company and the show are tied in together. A part of this show was a part of another show. It’s this Romeo and Juliet segment that was devised and developed in a workshop with myself and Zita. It’s shared by a Waterdonkey show called Love Songand it was a seed for this show. From then on was the genesis of Dreams of Love and Side-Show Productions.
Richard, how did you get tied in?
Richard: I saw Love Song and I was blown away. I really enjoyed that piece and I found the Romeo and Juliet piece the most inspiring. I bumped into Martin and Zita and we had a few conversations about ideas.
Martin: I remember Richard showed us a [Rainer Werner] Fassbinder film Fear Eats the Soul and a Douglas Sirk film. It was clear then that there was a similar wavelength. Fassbinder was in this group called Anti-Theatre. It’s like taking Brechtian theatre to another level of development, highlighting the illusion.
I remember talking to you before Martin and you cited New York City Players as an influence. You have a few influences, don’t you?
Martin: Yeah. New York City Players, Forced Entertainment, Wooster Group, [Jim] Fletcher from Elevator Repair Service … they’re all in that same family.
Zita, you’re involved in two Fringe shows. Dreams of Love and Waterdonkey’sHappening. Is that tough?
Zita: It hasn’t been because we rehearse at different times. I don’t imagine it will be that difficult, to be honest. We’ve done Dreams of Love before and we have a script for it. Whereas with Waterdonkey we’re still devising. I think if I was devising two shows it would be very difficult. It’s hard to give enough to both then. With Dreams of Love it’s about perfecting what we’ve already done really. It’s not as hard as I thought it was going to be.
What are your favourite love stories?
Richard: I love Forest Gump.
Zita: That is a good love story.
Richard: It always makes me cry a little bit.
Martin: I like The Knight’s Tale by Chaucer.
Zita: I have around ten. I love North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.
Martin: There’s a magazine called “North and South”.
Zita: Don’t think that’s it. She was from the south, he was from the north of England. They fell in love.
Martin: Was that a film with Patrick Swayze?
Zita: That’s a different one. That’s about the American Civil War. It was done by BBC a few years ago.
Do you think “true love” exists?
Richard: It’s debatable. I’m on the fence about that.
Martin: I think WH Auden said: “we must love one another or die”.
Dreams of Love runs Sept 20-24 at Smock Alley Theatre.