This weekend I’m heading west for the Galway Theatre Festival and in particular to catch Roisin Stack’s new work ‘My Poet Dark and Slender’. If you’re in the Galway area, make sure to check it out but be warned tickets are selling fast. Get yours here
Running at Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre, My Poet Dark and Slender is based on a story by Padraic O’Conaire, and staged by Mmm Theatre. Set in 1915, it centres on a bored housewife called Eileen who embarks on a brazen affair with a handsome poet. The production features mask, stylised movement, and an original score by Aindrias de Staic.
Roisin chatted with Charlie McBride of the Galway Advertiser earlier this week about the play.
“The story is a memory told from Eileen’s perspective,” explains director Róisín Stack, “and because memories are often patchy and unreliable, we’re taking artistic liberties in how we present her story. We have lights that cast shadows, music that warps out of time, characters played by everyone in the cast, and a lot of stylised movement. It’s not a straight-forward piece of theatre by any means.
“I came across the story in Scoithscealta and was first drawn to it because of its title,” Stack continues. “Then when I read it I was really surprised to find it was quite a passionate story. It has a lot of imagery about the devil, fire, passion, and it is beautifully written with a great twist in it as well. It’s told from the woman’s perspective which is unusual for the time. We’ve used O’Conaire’s story as a springboard, we did a lot of devising and brought in other material; a Dorothy Parker reading, contemporary songs, a re-mixed John McCormack ballad, a speech by Daniel O’Connell, writing from Joan Didion, so we’ve looked beyond the original story in putting together the show.”
The cast for My Poet Dark and Slender includes Daniel Guinnane, Jo Lopez, Lucia Smyth, Muirenn Ní Raghallaigh, and Réidín Ní Thuama, while Conor Kennedy-Burke is movement director. It is at the Mick Lally Theatre from tomorrow up to and including Monday May 2 at 8.30pm.