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.
Roisin Stack has done a huge amount of work in Galway for the last number of years to promote theatre in the Galway area. As director of the Galway Theatre Festival, held each year in November, she has overseen the provision of a great platform that local theatre companies can use to promote and showcase their productions. The festival has been a huge success and has without a doubt increased the number and quality of productions being made in Galway and provided a great launching pad for west of Ireland talent. One of the most successful of these companies is Mephisto and they have provided the lovely Miss Stack with an oppurtunity to direct an exciting project this summer. They are currently seeking finance to help fund the production through fundit and I think they are a very worthy cause and that this is an oppurtity to thank Roisin for her hard work with some hard cold cash. You can apply to help them here
The play they are going to produce is “The Mai” by Martina Carr, this is what the lads in Mephisto have to say about it.
‘The Mai’ is our 20th production and builds on our successful run at the Town Hall Theatre in 2011 with ‘The Honey Spike’ by Bryan MacMahon. For that production the Town Hall Theatre invested financially in us, as they are doing with ‘The Mai’. With a cast of thirteen and demanding production requirements, ‘The Honey Spike’ was “an epic step in the company’s 5-year theatrical voyage”, (Irish Theatre Magazine). In August 2012, we’re taking an even bigger leap.
‘The Mai’ by Marina Carr is a play about love, the kind that chews you up and spits you out. It’s a play that centres on four generations of women from the same family who struggle to come to terms with effects of their love and how it can be damaged but remain true; a play that our female actors will relish. With all the plays in the world to choose from, we chose this one, chiefly because Marina Carr is one of Ireland’s most popular and gifted modern Irish playwrights.
From opium-smoking, oar-wielding matriarch Grandma Fraochlán, who forever laments the death of her beloved Nine-Fingered Fisherman, to The Mai herself who tears her world apart and re-builds it again and again for her passionate but absent husband Robert, to their 16-year-old daughter, Millie, who is just beginning to learn about the punch that crazy love can pack, ‘The Mai’ re-imagines the timeless Celtic myth of Coillte and Bláth, and gives the audience a story that will lodge deep down in their bones.
Why do we need your help?
‘The Mai’ is our most ambitious play yet – a challenging and moving play, a large cast, performing on the main stage of the Town Hall Theatre, Galway – and we have engaged a professional team of theatre practitioners to stage this ambitious production. We are fortunate to have some financial support from the Town Hall Theatre and we are looking to raise just over 10% of our budget here on Fund it for design costs needed to compliment the dream-like, elegiac quality of the script, and to get us over the line and give the production the staging it deserves.
In other funding news, some more of my buddies are also looking for cash.
Aoife Scott is doing a parachute jump in aid of the RISE foundation, you can support it here
The RISE Foundation is a registered charity founded by the singer Frances Black in 2008, focussed on the family of those in addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, food addiction etc.).
Our Mission “To support families who have loved ones in addiction, to reduce addiction related harm and to combat the shame and stigma associated with addiction”.
At RISE (Recovery In a Safe Environment), we are dedicated to working towards helping families to free themselves from the heartache of a loved one in addiction, and to rediscover relationships in families lost to addiction.
We help families understand the nature of addiction, and teach self-help mechanisms to those suffering the devastation and heartache of having a loved one in addiction.
Maire De Barra is running a marathon to help raise funds for the Cork Life Centre, you can support it here
The Sunday’s Well Life centre is one of 4 Life Centres in Ireland.
Established in Cork in 2000, the Centre offers one-to-one education, counselling and support to early school leavers aged 12-16.
Laura Rigney and her consorts are raising a lot of money for concern by climbing up a big hill you can support her here
In 2011, we, that is, Laura Rigney, Sarah O’Toole and Sinead Coughlan, decided to climb Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, in aid of Concern. There are many personal reasons behind why we have decided to do this however it is primarily to try to make a difference. We believe we can achieve that difference through fundraising for Concern, a respected Irish, non Governmental Organisation with a long track record of making successful interventions in areas of the developing world where help is most needed.
Please help us to help others by lending us your financial support. Our target is to raise €17,000 in sponsorship all of which will go directly to improving lives through agricultural and environmental health development and practice in Tanzania, where Mt. Kilimanjaro is situated. The challenge is now set for 11th October 2012.
Donating through this site is simple and totally secure. Concern will receive your money directly so they can put it to work in some of the poorest communities in Africa.
Thanks so much for your support and for helping to make a difference.
Much love and gratitude