Three Fund:It Campaigns

The Last Burning (13 days to go)

The Last Burning is a play about Bridget Cleary who was the last woman in Ireland to be burned as a witch. NUIG DramSoc put on the play in 2010 so I haven’t seen it. I have seen a lot of the cast in other things over the past year so I know that they are a talented group of people. Hannah O’Reilly, the director also devised a movement piece called The Waves for DramSoc this year. I really enjoyed that show so I think The Last Burning has the potential to be a wonderful piece of theatre.

Thereisbear plan to tour the show around Ireland this summer and are looking for funding. They plan to bring The Last Burning to Galway, Ballinasloe, Inisboffin, Laois, Limerick, Kerry, Cork and Dublin this August. They have less than two weeks left to reach their target of €3000. You can help them get there or like their Facebook page here.

Tromluí Phinocchio/Pinocchio – A Nightmare (18 days to go)

Moonfish are a Galway-based company who make bilingal shows in English and Irish. Tromluí Phinocchio is a retelling of the Pinocchio story and is as magical and imaginative as you would expect it to be. I saw this show in Galway earlier this year. It’s very visual and has a wonderful style and aesthetic. There are also dark moments and they recommend it for children over 11. The clever way it mixes the English and Irish means that even someone like me, who never got on well with the Irish language, can enjoy the show!

I’m delighted that it will be part of the Absolut Fringe Festival this September because I really want more people to see and enjoy this show.

You can fund them here or like their Facebook page here.

Shadowskin by Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (40 days to go)

Shadowskin is a puppet show for grown-ups, loosely based on the story of Red Riding Hood. All the puppets in the show are being handmade and you can watch their progress on their Facebook page.

It doesn’t say yet when and where Shadowskin will get it’s premier but it looks like it will be worth waiting for.

You can fund them here or like their Facebook page here.

Four-day Workshop with Actors Training Ireland

Acting Training Ireland, who I have done workshops with and am very enthusiastic about are doing a four-day workshop in voice and acting at the beginning of June. It’s €200 for 4 full days which is a little bit out of my price-range at the moment but they are very, very good. If you do get a chance to go along, please let me know how you get on!

Here are all the details. Contact details here.

VOICE & PLAY

A four-day workshop

with Helena Wash and Andy Crook

Tuesday 5th June – Friday 8th June

10.00 – 17.00

€200

City Centre Location

This workshop is an exploration of acting using text, voice and improvisation combining the ideas of Jacques Lecoq and Roy Hart. It will be highly physical and playful using the energy of the individual working within the ensemble to challenge and encourage each participant to explore more deeply their craft and purpose as a performer. It will look at how we can be alive and spontaneous whilst being true to a text and connecting and responding to those around us.

Learning to work with our whole body and mind together produces work of depth, colour and great sensitivity. We will focus on wakening ourselves up physically and mentally, sensitising ourselves with others and then connecting to text and to playful situations.

The first part of each session will focus on physical and vocal technique that will open up the body and voice, grounding the actor and preparing for improvisational ensemble work in the afternoon. Techniques are inspired from Feldenkrais, Astanga yoga, Lecoq and Roy Hart.

The second part of each session will be spent on understanding acting through choral voice and sung pieces and through active imaginative play and work on text. Songs will be used to encourage a greater range of expression in the spoken voice and choral pieces will be sung and spoken. The emphasis will be on the physicalisation of song and the word. We will learn to embody the gesture of a phrase, or ground the feeling of a word through clear energised thought and a dynamic articulate and expressive body. This is taken through to the acting with text and improvisation work allowing physical action to take us into the discovery of situation and meaning.

This is a course that is suitable for anyone with some acting experience. Having a trained singing voice is not necessary and the course is designed for actors who would like to explore moving freely from spoken to sung text . The work is challenging but always fun.

MA Showcase

On a course called Drama and Theatre Studies, it’s probably not surprising that most of my MA classmates like being on stage. The course itself is a mix of theory and practical classes and most of the class took the practical classes – Ensemble Acting and Vocabularies of Theatre Composition. There was also a lot of involvement in NUIG DramSoc and six of the eight One Act plays were written, directed or performed by someone in the MADT class.

The idea to do a showcase for casting directors and agents came about when Maureen Hughes was speaking at the Town Hall Theatre’s Drama Day at the end of February. One of my classmates asked if she would come and see us if we did put on a showcase. Her advice was to book somewhere in Dublin, put on a lunchtime show and invite as many industry professionals as possible. That seemed possible; it even sounded like it might be fun. We were still considering the idea when we asked Mikel Murfi after a workshop if he had any suggestions of suitable scenes or plays. He was very enthusiastic about the idea and that helped us think that it was a good idea. As usual with things like this we had to push to get it started  but once we got things up and running, it started to take on a life of it’s own. (I usually find that happens around the time you book a venue and start inviting people. Putting down money is also a really good incentive to make things happen.)

We contacted a few venues and got a great price from Bewley’s Café Theatre. Our lunchtime show became an early-evening show. We held a cake-sale to raise money, got a bit of sponsorship and the university pitched in a little bit as well. We had a date and a venue and guest list. We even had money to pay for the whole thing. We just had to put together a show.

The trickiest part was figuring out which scenes to do. We needed things that could stand up on their own and also show our actors to the very best of their abilities. The cast consisted of nine women and four men and we had to find something for everybody. There were a couple of long sessions with piles of scripts, passing the books around, reading little bits, considering and rejecting and trying it different ways. Eventually we got twelve scenes with something for everyone. We juggled rehearsals around essay deadlines and slowly the show started to come together.

Last week it all became very real. On Tuesday we did an open dress rehearsal in the Bank of Ireland Theatre in college. It was the first time we did the whole show together and it was great to perform in front of an audience. It was also lovely that people took time out to come and see us and stick around to give feedback afterwards.

On Thursday we headed to Dublin for our busy day in Bewleys. They let us get in to the space at 10am in the morning, which was great because it was the first time a lot of people had been in the theatre. We had to leave at 12pm because there was a lunchtime show on but we were back for our get-in at 2.30pm for a show starting at 5pm. It was a little bit hectic!

The event itself was a huge success. We had a lovely audience who all seemed to enjoy themselves. Bewley’s looked after us very well. I really cannot fault their hospitality, even when there were 13 people warming up on the stairs they were lovely about it. The show went really smoothly too – no hiccups and everybody definitely upped their game on the night! There is a whole lot of talent in my class and I’m delighted that we got a chance to show it off. This was something that the class came together to do ourselves; it had nothing to do with our course. We all worked really hard on something that was entirely ours.

Afterwards we went out for dinner and then there was dancing and drinking in the hostel and a little bit of sing-song and it was a really nice way to end the year. Our first class trip was to Dublin in October for the Dublin Theatre Festival and this felt like a nice way to bookend the year.

I don’t know if anyone will get any work because of the showcase but it felt like a success to me. We’ve already got a good return on all our hard work!