Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Weekend: Cork Puts On a Show, Limerick Imagines its Future

This weekend the theatre communities of Cork and Limerick cities organise to address issues in their local infrastructures.

In Cork a new initiative called SHOW takes place at the Triskel Development Centre (TDC). Since 2011 this studio space, under the creative direction of Corcadorca, has been leased to theatre makers free of charge for week-long residencies that accumulate into a work-in-progress showing for a live audience. It's a commendable model of how a strongly funded company in the area can support smaller companies, and one that we might start seeing elsewhere. Druid recently announced that they're inviting companies in the West to avail of their venue - the newly renamed Mick Lally Theatre - for a six-week residency, concluding with a week-long run of a new production.

The problem for many artists that had residencies in TDC is that they cannot find a venue afterwards to stage their finished productions. SHOW, then, is an initiative to bring companies out of their in-development limbo and onto a public stage. Performances include: the boldly-sounding femme X and Y ("Come be an anarchist / Come have a wank") and a new drawing room farce called Lifedeath by award-winning poet Adam Wyeth for BrokenCrow Productions (who Theatre Forum reported as receiving a 30,000e Arts Council Project Award in their recent newsletter). The energetic Conflicted Theatre company follow-up their adaptation of The Scarlet Letter with Mirror, stripping Snow White back to its essentials of vanity and love. And the London-based JustMadeIt Productions return home for playwright Laura Wyatt O'Keefe's new play wish i was ..., evoking the Irish fascination with the landscapes of Australia and Southeast Asia. Full details about SHOW are to be found here.

Meanwhile, The Limerick Experiment sees fifteen artists across different disciplines react to the current arts crisis in the city, which risks being ignored against the highly-publicised backdrop of the Limerick City of Culture scheme next year (I have previously written about this here). The ensemble, facilitated by Limerick native and Fishamble playwright Gavin Kostick, will showcase their work at a two-day conference at the Limerick Dance venue entitled Imaging the Future for the Arts in Limerick. This will gather in dialogue local authorities representatives, academics such as arts researcher Tara Byrne, international arts practitioners including London-based theatre producer Kevin Wallace and music administrator Boris Hunka, and artistic director of Limerick City of Culture, Karl Wallace.

The ensemble performance features work from Widebeest's Ann Blake and Marie Boylan, Maeve McGrath of the Sidhe company, set designer Emma Fisher and accomplished actor Joan Sheehy. Details of the event are here.

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