Today we are having a guest blogger, as I didn't make the hike, my baby turned seven that day, so it was all water fights, candles, trampoline and too much sweets for me! But Stephen made it bright and early, so I hand over to him...
On Saturday as part of Garrett Carr’s piece, New Maps of Ulster, in The Border exhibition now currently showing in The Dock, there was a walk to the Shannon Pot and Cavan burren. Over several weeks Garrett traveled every mile of the Border, by foot, bicycle and canoe. His exhibition is based on his maps of what he found along the way. Also showing work is Adrian Duncan and Byronie Reid. On the walk itself the rain eventually cleared and we saw the bubbling waters of the Shannon pot and then went for a walk in the nearby forest and saw various rocks deposited by glaciers during the last ice-age. We also saw stone tombs and a collapsed dolmen that is called the calf shed locally. Here are some of the images of the walk. Thanks to all who came.
Garrett Carr: New Maps of Ulster
Adrian Duncan: The Difference in How I Believe You
Bryonie Reid: (re)writing
29 June—1 September 2012
And yes, the Breffs did it again! Sold out shows, two extra rows put in for the nights, a waiting list to be proud of! This Wednesday and Thursday night, Women on the verge of HRT, and we are in for another belly-full of laughter, some... ermm... music, the usual Breffni craic!
For some odd reason I had sent Sinead, the director of the play, some pretty heavy leaving-cert-like questions, I had never met her and I don’t know if the title of the play led me astray in thinking there must be some serious kind of woman behind that name! So, sorry Sinead, and if you ever get around to answer those questions I’d be even more than curious about your answers for sure! Anyway, I bumped into her at the launch of The Water Music Festival at The Dock, and there and then I knew we’ll be in for the usual laugh, the fun, the hilarious little truths just comfortably close enough to home… not that the Breffs need more ticket selling at this stage, but at this point I could potentially reassure you that nobody needed to be put off by the title, same as Davy from the Café wondered if any man at all will be in the audience... Going by the bookings, yes there will be a good crowd of men out to see the play on those nights, maybe even to understand us women after all!
So listen to what Sinead has to say about her play, thanks Sinead for your time, I know you are flat out with the last preps and rehearsals! You ready for some serious questions? Can you tell us anything about the play without giving it all away?
'Women on the Verge of HRT' explores the themes of ageing, loneliness & sexuality from the perspective of two women in their forties who have been disappointed in love. One is a hopeless romantic while the other has a more cynical view of love & romance making an unlikely pairing. Their love of Daniel o' Donnell is what brings them both together on a journey to Donegal where they come face to face with their fears.
This play was a great hit in the 1990s ; striking a chord with women of a certain age ; questioning double standards between women & men i.e.; where it's perfectly acceptable for men to date considerably younger women but not the other way around.
Well, you got my attention already! What brought you into theatre directing?
I undertook a MA in Drama 8 years ago & subsequently leading to running Drama After School for Children.
I joined the Breffni Players after moving to Carrick on Shannon 5 years ago. I was fortunate to be given an opportunity to direct a One Act Play last year: my first time to work with adults from a directorial position.
Directing ' Women on the Verge' has been a challenge with only 6 weeks to pull it all together in time for the Water Music Festival but an absolute delight, thanks to the amazing support from the Breffni players especially the actors who have managed to make it all possible.
Sounds rather intriguing, wish i was those ten years younger myself and give it a shot! What do you think, can fiction make some subjects/ issues more real for people, in a way of looking at them and dealing with it?
I think the majority of people come to the theatre to be entertained.
The subject matter draws a crowd; in the case of ‘Women on the Verge ...’ the main theme of searching for fulfillment relates to both men & women.
This play looks at the realities of relationship which are not given the Hollywood Happy ‘ever after’ makeover but present them as they are in the real world. Good theatre should hold up a mirror to its audience through the characters, & the story they have to tell. The audience may see parts of themselves in these characters & even share their story but always at a distance.
Do you think, in a way people laugh when they hear the truth? Is this an effective way of getting a message across? What is your experience with comedy and some bold or unpleasant truths?
I think people laugh out of nervousness in awkward situations. Irish people tend to have that ability to find humor in the most difficult situations as a coping mechanism. The same could be said of the use of humor in theatre ; it lightens the mood without taking away the seriousness of the message . The ability to laugh at ourselves allows us to deal with ' unpleasant truths'. I hope this play offers a perfect blend of humor & seriousness in equal measures.
Yeah, it reminds me of those 'this is awkward'-moments in my life, and I think I inappropriately laughed or grinned through them too! How do you personally relax before and after a show, I know we all do it very differently...?
I will be found drinking copious amounts of vodka at the bar in the Dock' s bar hours before the show begins . If not there, I may be found passed out in the toilets or backstage if I make it that far before the curtain rises! Of course , I jest; more than likely I will be running around pretending to look busy & threatening the cast not to drop any lines .. but on a more serious note, I will be probably be tellling everyone how amazing they are... like a proper 'theatre luvvie' with lots of air kissing for dramatic effect!!
I'll be checking on you in that bar! ... and last but not least, tell us a joke if you can... I am always on the lookout for a good one...
One of my favourite comedians ,Spike Milligan requested that the writing on his grave's headstone would read' Duirt mé go raibh mé tinn'... a perfect example of Irish wit!!
Well, am glad Sinead told me what THAT means, my good ole Irish needs a bit of brushing up! And some of my friends have less than me for that matter, so here you go... what did your man say? 'I told you i was sick!'
Breffni's you are very funny indeed, I love working with you guys!
Your D B