There are five shows coming to An Grianán Theatre this season direct from America, (and we’ve another show Directed and Choreographed by an American resident of Letterkenny) … It certainly is a stateside season !
An empowering story of a woman who decides to take back control.
On her 60th birthday Cathy should be celebrating but it rapidly goes downhill.
“In the shop they didn’t see me.
They saw a warm cardigan and sensible shoes woman. An insignificant woman.”
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.
Written and performed by Carol Moore
Directed by Patrick J. O’Reilly
Development choreography by Oona Doherty
Music score by Conor Mitchell
Saxophone – Kevin Lawless
Produced by An Grianán Theatre
Duration: 60 minutes*
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”.
The Experience of Being:
The play straddles two worlds. One is memory where conflict, religion and power from many sources limited the choices of girls and young women growing up in Belfast, while in the present Carol is holding up a mirror up to society’s obsession with youthfulness and where power can so easily be stripped from older citizens. The play examines power and gender stereotyping, age myths and the challenges of ageing facing us all.
It is an original, funny and absorbing interdisciplinary production which uses text/physicality/music to tell a powerful story that connects and resonates with a 50+ age-group but also engages with audiences across all age-groups.
Supporting Carol is a critically acclaimed creative team. Director, Patrick J. O’Reilly, is Artistic Director of Tinderbox Theatre Company, composer Conor Mitchell is Artistic Director of music/theatre company, Belfast Ensemble, choreographer, Oona Doherty, is an internationally acclaimed dancer/choreographer and saxophonist while Kevin Lawless is a highly skilled Irish musician.
It has been produced by An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny to to tour nationally during May 2019. A showcase of the production was performed at Prime Cut’s theatre symposium in January at the Mac Theatre, Belfast.
About Carol Moore
Carol Moore has maintained a freelance career across four decades in acting, theatre directing, film directing and drama facilitation.
Carol was co-founder/co-Artistic Director of Charabanc Theatre Company 1983 –’95, their adoption of research and oral interviewing, taking people’s life-experiences and transforming those into theatrical experiences, then delivering it back in non-traditional theatre venues was ground-breaking in reaching new audiences. Charabanc brought Northern Ireland to the attention of international academics and gained both a national/international reputation.
Carol’s acting career includes work with many leading Northern Irish companies including Charabanc, the Lyric, Tinderbox, Brassneck and Kabosh as well as international touring to North America, the former Soviet Union, Germany, South Africa and Rwanda.
Carol has directed a number of plays including at the Lyric Theatre in the early 1990’s and was one of a number of directors on Convictions (Tinderbox) which won ‘Best Production’ at the Irish Times Awards, 2000.
As a writer her work includes a book about Charabanc Theatre company, a monologue about the first Irish women trade unionist Mary Galway, Shrieking Sisters with Maggie Cronin and one-woman play The Experience of Being (previously titled Dangerous Female).
As a filmmaker she won ‘Best First Time Director’ at Celtic Film Festival,1997, for Gort na gCnámh, History Unfinished, was Northern Ireland regional winner of BAFTA 60 sec film competition (2007) and feature film Pumpgirl (2008). She received a NESTA fellowship (2003 –
2005) making a series of documentary films around cultural diversity, which screened at International festivals. She received a Best Actress nominaton in Reefer and the Model at the European film Awards, 1989.
Carol was a Creative Consultant for arts/heritage organisation Red Lead Arts (2003/6) curating Belfast as it Used to Be and directingThe Iceberg and The Liverpool Boat.
Haughey | Gregory, which is at An Grianán on Tues 7 May, is set in 1982 during a particularly turbulent time in Irish politics. It follows the story of Tony Gregory, a young man who lands a surprise seat in the Dáil and finds himself holding the balance of power. Here’s the play’s writer Colin Murphy on the history behind the play:
In the early 1980s, there were three general elections within 18 months in Ireland. The country was in pieces: the economy ruined, most of the young talent emigrating, modern infrastructure barely existent, the North at war. Politics was dominated by Charles Haughey, leading a deeply-divided Fianna Fáil, and his nemesis, Garret FitzGerald, leading Fine Gael. Dublin’s inner city was almost destroyed by unemployment, heroin and urban planning, and entirely forgotten by the rest of Irish society and ignored by politics and the media. Fighting against this, community activists were struggling to assert another vision of society and politics.
At their head was Tony Gregory, a young teacher turned city councillor, born in Ballybough, whose father had worked in the Docks. In the second of those three elections, in February 1982, Tony took a surprise Dáil seat – and suddenly found himself holding the balance of power.
He was courted by both FitzGerald and Haughey. FitzGerald was a liberal, a man of modest disposition, and committed to a policy known as ‘the Just Society’; Gregory’s team liked his politics. And they disliked Haughey’s republicanism (Haughey had lost office a decade earlier for his involvement in a notorious scheme to illegally run guns to the IRA) and the whiff of corruption and ostentation that he courted.
But Haughey was a northsider: he knew how to deal with people, and how to get things done. While FitzGerald remained aloof and remote, Haughey came to Gregory’s run-down office and drank with his team in the local pub. He impressed them with his knowledge of the area and his willingness to meet their demands. Over a series of three meetings, he seduced them, and they, in turn, succeeded in winning him over to perhaps the most radical anti-poverty scheme in Irish history.
That became known as the Gregory Deal. Gregory voted for Haughey and he duly became Taoiseach – the deal was denounced by the establishment as flagrant vote-buying; its radical, progressive content was largely overlooked.
Before much could be implemented, Haughey’s government collapsed, in November 1982, after a bizarre series of scandals. Some of the deal’s measures were adopted by the new government; others fell by the wayside. Thirty five years later, Dublin’s inner city is again the focus of national political attention and promises of investment; but such attention has proved fleeting in the past, and the promises insubstantial.
Colin Murphy writes plays about politics, and journalism. He is the author of a series of plays on Irish political history: Haughey/Gregory, on the 1982 “Gregory Deal”, Inside the GPO, on the Easter Rising, Guaranteed!, on the bank guarantee of 2008, and Bailed Out!, on the subsequent crisis and Troika “bailout” of 2010, all produced by Fishamble. He adapted the latter two for screen, as The Guarantee and The Bailout (both produced by John Kelleher Media). He adapted the Charlie Bird book A Day in May for the stage. His verbatim dramas, Jack Duggan’s War and Judging Shaw (based on Fintan O’Toole’s book of the same name) have been staged by ANU Productions. His short film Leave to Remain was made for RTÉ Storyland (produced by Treasure Entertainment). He writes a weekly column for the Sunday Business Post.
An Grianán Theatre will hold two specially adapted relaxed performances of their Christmas Show Pinocchio on Wednesday 19 December at 12.30pm and Sat 22 December at 2pm.
What is a relaxed performance?
Relaxed Performances are specifically designed to welcome people who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including, but not limited to, people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability.
There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement and some small changes made to the light and sound effects.
Theatre lights will stay on and people will be warned of sudden noises.
For anyone overwhelmed during the performance, a “chill out” area will be provided in the upper foyer.
An easy way to understand the atmosphere is perhaps, ‘the opposite of the quiet carriage on a train’.
Why do a relaxed performances?
Many aspects of a standard theatre experience can cause difficulties for children. Busy foyers, unexpected music, lights going up and down and applause can all be unsettling. Even the interval can confuse because it may seem strange to leave the auditorium in the middle of an event.
These performances are for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an autistic spectrum condition, sensory or communication disorders, or a learning disability, or just those who are uncomfortable being in a darkly lit room, or those who feel they can’t sit quietly for an extended period of time.
Can everyone come to this performance?
Yes everyone is welcome, it’s important that those for whom it is intended get to share the experience with their peers and siblings. That’s the joy of a relaxed performance!
Korean-born designer Hyemi Shin won The Irish Times Theatre Award 2017 for Best Costume Design for her work on Michael Keegan Dolan’s Swan Lake/ Loch na hEala.
Shin studied at Hongik University in Seoul and Wimbledon College of Arts and is also a Set Designer as well as a Costume Designer. She was the overall winner of the 2011 Linbury Prize. Her design credits include The Seagull, Herons, Morning, Desire under the Elms (costumes only) and Secret Theatre for Lyric Hammersmith, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Lyric Hammersmith and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, Once in a Lifetime, Dirty Butterfly and Sizwe Banzi is Dead for Young Vic, The Brink for Orange Tree Theatre, Made Visible for The Yard and He Wore a Red Hat and Playland for New Perspectives Theatre/Nottingham Academy. The Kreutzer Sonata for Russian Chamber Ballet Moscow and Unearth for National Ballet of Canada.
Here we display some of the stunning initial costume sketches, kindly sent to us by Michael Keegan-Dolan. They clearly display the breathtaking talent and clarity of image that is present throughout all the elements of this production of Swan Lake/Loch na hEala which you can see at An Grianán on 31st Jan & 1st Feb.
Swan Lake / Loch na hEala is here for two nights only, Wed 31 Jan and Thur 1 Feb. Tickets available at our box office on 0749120777 or online at www.angrianan.com.
Don’t miss out on the Early Bird offer: pay in full by 20 October 2017 and pay €13 per pupil (normal price €15).
Presented by Cork based theatre company Cyclone Rep, the Shakespeare Sessions are an invaluable study aid for Junior and Leaving Cert students.
The Shakespeare Sessions are entertaining and engaging student-centred ￼￼performances of Shakespeare texts. Each performance includes a scholarly review clarifying the main themes as well as discussions with the students and ￼￼￼the opportunity to participate. Cyclone Rep’s Shakespeare Sessions will guide Junior Cert and Leaving Cert learners in their understanding of ￼￼The Bard’s masterpieces.
This spring the sessions will cover King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice.
Cyclone will be with us in February 19 and 20 2018 – find out more here.
Fáilte go dtí Amharclann An Ghrianán! Located in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, An Grianán Theatre is an integral part of the county’s thriving cultural life and a flagship venue in the North West of Ireland.
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