Sean Feeny

CAROL MOORE’S AN GRIANÁN TOUR BLOG 2

On reaching 60 in 2016, actor/writer, Carol Moore didn’t see herself reflected in contemporary Irish theatre, nor was she being offered challenging roles for her own age-group.

She felt invisible as an older woman and redundant as an older artist. For 18 months Carol has been writing and developing a one-woman play titled The Experience of Being which, following three dates at the Grand Opera House in Belfast next week, An Grianán Theatre is delighted to be presenting for ten tour dates across the island of Ireland over the coming month, including three performances in County Donegal. FULL DATES HERE

The Experience of Being is a funny, absorbing and moving one-woman play about dwindling power, how to challenge it and why ageism makes growing older far harder than it needs to be. FIND OUT MORE HERE

Carol Moore has been giving us an insight into the lead-up to Opening Night of her play The Experience of Being. Her are her latest diary entries.

Friday, 3 May
It’s Friday and we got two runs in. Taking on Patrick’s notes about the heightened state Cathy is in until she finally breaks down at the dinner table and the night isn’t over. Conor also pushing the sax which goes to dark places musically and emotionally. Actor and musician matching each other as the stakes are raised. It’s heartbreaking that a woman of 60 feels so out of control and I suspect many women in the audience will recognise what that feels like.

Sunday, 5 May
“Decision to change costume. Body image and that other taboo that we need to ditch, the pressure to look young instead of simply feeling great about ourselves. It’s Saturday and life imitates art and an early scene in the play when someone slides into the back of my car nudging me onto the roundabout. I was lucky there was nothing coming at that moment but it shook me. I really do know how Cathy is feeling. Don’t panic An Grianán, I am absolutely fine!

Monday, 6 May
Bank Holiday Monday was going to be a day off but when you are leading up to an opening night, not running the show between Saturday and Wednesday morning makes you feel uneasy. So we got into the Baby Grand to run the piece in the space. Always very different. You have to recalibrate to the new conditions – coming in from a different side, playing the raked seating, using much more voice, assessing if the journey of the play is clear and refining moments in the play that the new space is throwing up.

Tuesday, 7 May
Tuesday is tech day, meaning all the lights have to be focused, coloured and cues plotted. Also a big day for the setting the final music of the piece. Kevin the saxophonist takes notes from the composer but also the director refining where the sax comes in and out in sections and importantly the sound in the space. Loving the reverb. There is also a series of soundscapes under the memory sequences to support and locate them and underscore the saxophone music. I’ve used a lot of voice today so need to be careful. Then my other head is making sure all invited guests know what is happening, especially the panel, who will be discussing issues raised in the play afterwards. They include Eithne McNulty (Chair), Siobhan Casey (AgeNI), Robert Atkinson (Service User) and myself and will no doubt be very interesting.

Thursday, 9 May
We OPENED. Feels like a very long time ago when I started writing the play and it’s finally out there. A fantastic audience last night and to be supported by family, friends in the business, the Arts Council, Arts & Business, interview participants, my producer Patricia McBride and those who just took a chance and bought a ticket. Great to hear laughter and complete silence as the character takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Also enjoyed the post show discussion because Baroness May Blood always hits the nail on the head and in the same breath makes you laugh.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped me on the journey and particularly to Patrick J O’Reilly, my director, Conor Mitchell, composer, Kevin Lawless, saxophonist and last but not least Patricia McBride who believed in me and the play. Looking forward to seeing you all in Donegal so get booking.

An Grianán Theatre presents The Experience of Being by Carol Moore, touring the island of Ireland this May and June. For tour locations and dates CLICK HERE

Read more

CAROL MOORE’S AN GRIANÁN TOUR BLOG 1

On reaching 60 in 2016, actor/writer, Carol Moore didn’t see herself reflected in contemporary Irish theatre, nor was she being offered challenging roles for her own age-group.

She felt invisible as an older woman and redundant as an older artist. For 18 months Carol has been writing and developing a one-woman play titled The Experience of Being which, following dates at the Grand Opera House, Belfast next week, An Grianán Theatre is delighted to present across the island of Ireland over the next month, including three performances in Donegal. FULL DATES HERE

The Experience of Being is a funny, absorbing and moving one-woman play about dwindling power, how to challenge it and why ageism makes growing older far harder than it needs to be. FIND OUT MORE HERE

An Grianán is going to bring you a weekly blog from the very charming, talented and witty Carol, beginning with her final week of rehearals.

Monday, 29 April
I’m very excited at the floor cloth designed and painted by Ellen Turley which we will see this week in rehearsals. Can’t say too much but the detail is phenomenal. A long discussion about the use of saxophone and a much greater presence in the play. Kevin Lawless playing a blinder. Conor Mitchell, composer, re-imagining large sections and Patrick J. O’Reilly pushing us all for more in how the sax reacts to the central character and the effect it has on her as the plays progresses. Live music. You can’t beat it

Tuesday, 30 April
So Conor went away yesterday having new musical ideas about the opening music and particular sections where the saxophone impacts with the character. Patrick and I spend the day working slowly through the script to re-visit each section. What is the function of so many memories during the dinner party? How might a person feel having been put off the road on the way to her birthday dinner and now regretting she just didn’t go home? How the alcohol consumption masks what is really going on with Cathy? I love Patrick’s questions and pushing me to justify my choices. Good decisions made today.

Wednesday, 1 May
The director and I are listening in to Conor (composer) and Kevin(saxophonist). They are speaking a different language, a musical language and we haven’t a clue what it means. It’s a fascinating process watching how they shorthand what the musical intention is and then Kevin just plays it. The saxophone is full on in the journey of the play reflecting the lack of power of the character Cathy, as early as primary and secondary school as well as the power of the church and the paramilitaries and with that the sense that Cathy has been fighting this battle for a long time. At 60 she didn’t think she would still be struggling with power being taken away from her, but that is what happens on the very day of her birthday. No wonder she starts on the prosecco on the way to the birthday dinner because she has just been put off the road by a male driver and everything goes downhill from there.

Thursday, 2 May
Playing on the floorcloth creates a really different sense of space, a world of 60 years of Cathy’s entire life to date. We did a run this afternoon and afterwards words like angry, painful, distressed, frustrated, lost, powerless is describing the story arc of the play; not a nice wee woman feeling sorry for herself, drinking tea and watching Coronation Street. This is a woman in crisis and she’s desperate to tell you why.

An Grianán Theatre presents The Experience of Being by Carol Moore, touring the island of Ireland this May and June. For tour locations and dates CLICK HERE

Read more