the experience of being

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

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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

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The Experience of Being Irish Tour

An Grianán Theatre presents Carol Moore's The Experience of Being

Touring Ireland this May

Written and performed by Carol Moore

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*

Post show Q&A available at some venues.

Tour Dates 2019

Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda
Tuesday 14 May at 2pm
041 983 3946
www.droichead.com

Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon
Thursday 16 May at 8pm
071 985 1375
www.abbeycentre.ie

An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny
Friday 17 May at 8pm
074 912 0777
www.angrianan.com

Holy Trinity Parish Hall, Dunfanaghy
Saturday 18 May at 8pm
074 912 0777
www.angrianan.com

Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo
Wednesday 22 May at 1pm
071 916 1518
www.hawkswell.com

The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton
Saturday 25 May at 8pm
071 985 5833
www.theglenscentre.com

Mullingar Arts Centre, Mullingar
Wednesday 29 May at 8pm
044 934 7777
www.mullingarartscentre.ie

Mermaid Arts Centre, Wicklow
Thursday 30 May at 8pm
01 272 4030
www.mermaidartscentre.ie

An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk
Friday 31 May at 8pm
042 933 2332
www.antain.ie

The Playhouse Theatre, Derry/Londonderry
Saturday 1 June at 8pm
028 7126 8027
www.derryplayhouse.co.uk

More about the show

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, writer and performer of The Experience of Being

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.

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