Charlie Bonner, Janet Moran, Rebecca Root, Karen Ardiff and Enda Oates in Rathmines Road by Deirdre Kinahan. Photography by Patrick Redmond.
It strikes me that Ireland is going through something of a reckoning at present. Recent referendums on civil liberties, tribunals into political ethics and corruption, inquiries into clerical and institutional abuse, all signal an enormous shift in Irish thinking. The iron grip of Catholicism and stifling absolutism of class and convention are beginning to dissipate, and to my mind that is a good thing. Unfortunately there are many areas in which we still fail and fail spectacularly.
In Rathmines Road, I want to explore our collective response to accusations of rape and sexual assault, and our complete failure judicially, socially and culturally, to negotiate the dreadful consequences of these crimes. So I decided to place a victim of sexual assault into a situation where he/she can confront that abuse in a public way and then watch each character shift and spin in the ways described by survivors. I wanted to try to feel what it is like to be blamed for inciting the very crime committed on you. What it is like to be constantly doubted. What it is like to be perpetually judged and labelled by that crime. What it is like to see your story, your truth and your dignity stolen from you by the people affected by that accusation – and how quickly the response becomes not about you but about them, and how your accusation affects them. I wanted to try to feel what it is like to disappear – disappear into an abyss where every social cultural and judicial reflex conspires to silence, to shame and to deny…YOU.
It was in writing the play that I began to understand how the failure of our response is often governed by gender and the cultural expectations associated with gender. Boys will be boys remember and good girls don’t get drunk or don’t go into bedrooms at parties unless they are willing to be sexually assaulted or raped. It sounds absurd. I have to say I have trouble even writing that sentence, but how many daytime-chat-show callers, opinion-column writers, neighbours, solicitors or indeed deluded bishops give air to the notion that a victim of sexual assault is in some way culpable – if not asking for it? It is extraordinary how control of the narrative of a crime is often removed from the person at the centre of it, then reshaped to fit the needs of those around them.
The perpetrator of sexual assault rarely admits their crime, rarely sees it and in most cases is never forced to answer for it. And so you will see how each character in Rathmines Road attempts to take control of the story and recreate it in some way to suit their sense of themselves. You will see how some characters lie, lie constantly, and lie first to themselves because the capacity for human denial never ceases to amaze me, particularly when backed up by silence. Silence sits at the heart of Rathmines Road because, unfortunately, silence remains the go-to response for survivors, their abusers and ourselves. Silence means we might not have to respond at all.
Rathmines Road by Deirdre Kinahan, directed by Jim Culleton, presented by Fishamble: The New Play Company and the Abbey Theatre, runs at The Peacock Stage of The Abbey Theatre as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2018 until October 13, continuing its run till October 27.
Photo and Design by Publicis
Fishamble are delighted to announce that its highly-acclaimed production, On Blueberry Hill by Sebastian Barry, will be touring internationally and nationally in 2019. We are excited to have actors Niall Buggy and David Ganly join us once more, playing the roles of Christie and PJ.
In Sebastian Barry’s unique style, On Blueberry Hill features best of friends and worst of enemies Christy and PJ, played by Niall Buggy and David Ganly. This new play is bursting with humanity, as it explores murder, forgiveness, survival and, ultimately, love in the prison of the human heart.
‘Phenomenal… a superb, devastating play… fine performances… triumphantly directed… not to be missed.’
‘It’s hard to find a word that captures it adequately. ‘Superb’ will have to do.’
★★★★ Irish Times
'absolutely riveting… utterly unforgettable… powerful play… two astonishing performances… first class direction… just go and see it.’
8 January - 3 February, 59E59 THEATERS, New York, supported by Culture Ireland
6 February, HAWK'S WELL THEATRE, Sligo
8 - 9 February, WATERGATE THEATRE, Kilkenny
12 - 16 February, PAVILION THEATRE, Dún Laoghaire
18 February, TOWN HALL THEATRE, Galway
20 - 21 February, LIME TREE THEATRE, Limerick
23 February, GLÓR, Ennis
26 February, CORK OPERA HOUSE, Cork
28 February & 1 March, THEATRE ROYAL, Waterford
From left to right: Janet Moran, Charlie Bonner, Karen Ardiff, Enda Oates and Rebecca Root in Rathmines Road by Deirdre Kinahan. Photograph by Patrick Redmond.
Fishamble: The New Play Company and Abbey Theatre, Ireland present the world premiere of Rathmines Road by Deirdre Kinahan
Olivier Award-winning Fishamble and the Abbey Theatre are delighted to present Deirdre’s latest powerful and questioning drama as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2018. Bristling with tension, Rathmines Road unleashes a brutal truth that affects us all. It is a play that asks: when and how do we take responsibility?
Fraught, funny and ferocious this new drama challenges the cultural response to accusations of sexual assault. Will truth out?
Directed by Jim Culleton, Rathmines Road features a stellar cast of Karen Ardiff, Charlie Bonner, Janet Moran, Enda Oates and Rebecca Root. Fishamble is committed to presenting a diverse range of voices on the Irish stage and to representing communities with authenticity. When Rebecca Root takes to the stage in Rathmines Road it will be the first time that a transgender actor will play a transgender character in a professional theatre production on the Irish stage.
Gordon Grehan, Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) said "We are delighted that, for the first time in Ireland, a transgender actor has been cast as a trans character in a play. Acceptance and understanding of our community is fostered by the positive visibility of trans people in all areas of life, including in the arts. It is exciting that trans people will attend our national theatre and see themselves represented on stage by the talented, trailblazing Rebecca Root, in what we are sure will be another must-see Fishamble production."
Fishamble has previously produced Deirdre Kinahan’s play Broken as part of Tiny Plays for Ireland in Project Arts Centre in Dublin, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Irish Arts Center in New York, and Spinning as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2014. The Abbey produced Deirdre’s play The Unmanageable Sisters earlier this year.
Suitable for ages 14+
Directed by Jim Culleton
Set and Costume Design: Maree Kearns
Lighting Design: Kevin Smith
Sound Design: Carl Kennedy
Civic Theatre, 4-6 Oct (previews) & Abbey Theatre, on the Peacock Stage, 9 - 27 Oct 2018
Previews: 4–6 Oct, 8pm
Abbey Theatre, on the Peacock Stage
Free First Preview: 9 Oct, 8pm
Dates: 10–13 Oct, 8pm
World premiere 10 October as part of Dublin Theatre Festival
Duration: Approx. 80 mins. No interval.
Join the conversation: #RathminesRoad #DTF18
Drip Feed by Karen Cogan
After presenting in London and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Soho Theatre and Fishamble: The New Play Company are delighted to present Drip Feed by Karen Cogan, directed by Oonagh Murphy in association with the Dublin Fringe Festival.
Show In A Bag
This year Fishamble is proud to support a number of shows through its development initiatives. The four Show In A Bag plays this year are Appropriate by Sarah-Jane Scott, Brendan Galileo for Europe by Fionn Foley, Ireland's Call by John Connors, and Split Ends by Lauren Larkin. Show in a Bag is an artist development initiative of Dublin Fringe Festival, Fishamble: The New Play Company and Irish Theatre Institute to resource theatre makers and actors.
Supported by the New Play Clinic
Fishamble also supports Kiss Kiss Slap Slap by Chaos Factory and Holy Show by Janet Moran through its New Play Clinic development programme.
Fishamble New Writing Award
Fishamble is now accepting submissions for the New Writing Award for an Irish (or Irish based) writer for a new play premiered in the Dublin Fringe Festival. To qualify for this award your work must be showing as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2018. The award includes a targeted package of dramaturgical supports for the writer.
The Fishamble New Writing Award is a fantastic opportunity for writers and makers. In order for your play to be considered for the Fishamble New Writing Award, you must submit an electronic copy of your script to Fishamble before 6pm on Friday 17th August 2018.
The Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan at the launch of the gender policies of 10 Irish theatre organisations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times
Minister Josepha Madigan launches gender equality policies of ten Irish theatre organisations.
On the 9th July 2018 at The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts at Trinity College, Dublin, Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD launched Gender Equality in Practice in Irish Theatre; the gender equality policies of The Abbey Theatre, Cork Midsummer Festival, The Corn Exchange, Druid Theatre, The Everyman, Dublin Theatre Festival, Fishamble: The New Play Company, The Gate Theatre, The Lir Academy, Rough Magic Theatre Company.
The 10 theatre companies involved in the working group have come together to demonstrate the power of collaboration within the Cultural sector in Ireland, to share expertise, support and learnings and enhance the possibilities for women in the Irish theatre sector. It is vital that women’s voices are allowed to reverberate on stage, across the cultural sector and across society as a whole.
Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD
The ten policy documents crafted to encompass the individual workings and requirements of the ten theatre organisations were a result of one and half year’s work. Gender Equality in Practice in Irish Theatre began after #WakingTheFeminists drew international attention to the gender inequality that then existed within Irish theatre. This cultural phenomenon encouraged the participating theatre organisations to consider their own record in programming and supporting women within the sector and identify processes that would ensure gender parity and dignity at work in the future.
Working together the ten organisations agreed that the process had to be a learning experience and the amount of time it took to achieve the policies is an indication of the commitment to the subsequent outcomes of the process. All policy statements have been ratified by the boards of the theatre organisations. The policies are now active and all involved have undertaken to review their progress and measure results regularly.
Those involved feel they are leading the way for other art forms who have yet to address Gender Equality in their respective sectors. It is hoped that the policies launched today will provide a template for other theatre organisations and cultural sectors such as visual arts, dance and literature to adopt.
Theatre is by definition a visible sector, and a great deal of focus had been given to incidents within specific organisations; we are pleased to use that visibility to take a lead in identifying a robust, clear and decent code of practice that has currency throughout theatre in Ireland, and which can offer guidance for other sectors that may be equally in need of reform. Lynne Parker- Rough Magic Theatre Company
While every organisation involved in the process have tailored a policy statement specific to the individual needs of each organisation some of the measures adopted include
For a full account of all Gender Equality policies of the of The Abbey Theatre, Cork Midsummer Festival, The Corn Exchange, Druid Theatre, The Everyman, Dublin Theatre Festival, Fishamble: The New Play Company, The Gate Theatre, The Lir Academy, Rough Magic Theatre Company, please click here.
The process has been fully supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Fishamble's Gender Equality Policy document can be read below, and is available to read on the Board and Governance page.
On Sunday 14th June, we had a spectacular day out with the winners of our #PlaysonaTrain competition with Irish Rail. We began the day with a playwriting workshop on a specially reserved carriage just for our workshop, then spent some time in beautiful Bray writing plays. Our Literary Manager Gavin Kostick read them on the train back to Pearse Station, where Irish Rail had kindly lent us a room to discuss the workshop in. The day ended with finished short plays in hand, which will be shared as part of our Fishamble Diaries series weekly.
We were also delighted to welcome journalist Frank Coughlin who joined our workshop that day, and wrote a wonderful piece about it in the Irish Independent (Click HERE for the article).
We would like to thank Irish Rail, who partnered with us to create #PlaysonaTrain and are Fishamble's Transport Partners for A PLAY FOR IRELAND.
Soho Theatre and Fishamble: The New Play Company present
Written and performed by KAREN COGAN
Directed by OONAGH MURPHY
ASSEMBLY GEORGE SQUARE THEATRE, THE BUBBLE
London previews: Soho Theatre Upstairs, Fri 27 & Sat 28 Jul, 7pm
Edinburgh run: Wed 1 Aug – Sun 26 Aug (not 14), 2.30pm (60mins)
Press night: Fri 3 Aug, 2.30pm
London run: Mon 24 Sept – Sat 20 Oct, 7pm / Press Night: Wed 24 Sept, 7pm
Cork. 1998. Dancing on tables and 3am breakfast rolls. Brenda and her ferocious best pal are part of the city's furniture. What if you wake up hungover and broken on the wrong person’s doorstep, realise you’ve got it wrong, all wrong, and it might just be too late?
Shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award 2017 Drip Feed is a fast-paced infectiously dark comedy about the messiness of being youngish, female and queer in 1990s Ireland. Written and performed by Karen Cogan, this blistering new play about sexuality, stagnation and the messiness of growing up female and queer in Ireland receives its world premiere from Wed 1 – Sat 26 August at Assembly George Square Theatre as part of Soho Theatre’s Fringe season of the most vibrant new theatre, comedy and cabaret.
Taking us on an obsessive odyssey through Cork city in 1998 and the past Karen’s character Brenda cannot shake, Drip Feed speaks to so much of what is happening in society right now. It is a female-authored play, with a flawed and complex female protagonist. A queer coming of age story, set in the 1990s, Drip Feed presents the opportunity to consider the recent past, and ask how much has changed, but also how much hasn’t. Presented by Soho Theatre and Fishamble, and directed by Oonagh Murphy, Drip Feed will make its London premiere in September following its Edinburgh Fringe run.
Karen Cogan: “Drip Feed vomited out of me in a period of frustration. I felt bored with the conversations around female writers and characters. The phrase ‘strong women’ is used often. There’s no onus on men to be ‘strong characters’ at all times. They get to be flawed creatures. Women engage in a similar spectrum of messy behaviour. I wanted to write a complex queer woman who reflects the mortifying lengths we can all go to, to be loved, to be seen. She is ridiculous but honest.”
Karen trained as an actor at RADA. Her first play The Half of It won the prestigious Stewart Parker Award in 2018 after a sold out run in Dublin. The Half of It was nominated for 5 Fringe Awards and won the First Fortnight Award. Karen’s second play Drip Feed was shortlisted top 6 (from 1200 submissions) for the Verity Bargate Award in 2017 and has been optioned and commissioned for television development by Witchery Pictures. Oonagh Murphy recently directed the five-star Tribes at the Gate Theatre, as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival.
“Fishamble is delighted to coproduce Drip Feed with Soho Theatre. Karen Cogan was recently chosen to take part in Fishamble’s nationwide play development initiative, A Play for Ireland. We are thrilled to support Karen, who has a vibrant, provocative and fiercely intelligent voice. She is a new force to be reckoned with in theatre, and we are proud to be connected with her, and her director, Oonagh Murphy.”
Jim Culleton, Artistic Director, Fishamble
Would you like to be part of a unique playwriting course and over the course of a DART journey write your own mini play? Enter now to be part of Fishamble / Irish Rail’s ‘Plays on a Train’!
To celebrate the new partnership between Fishamble: The New Play Company and Irish Rail, a special playwriting experience will take place later this month and you could be part of it.
On Sunday June 24th one carriage of the DART leaving Connolly station that morning will be a dedicated playwriting space for 10 budding writers to learn more about how to craft a play and create their own.
The workshop will be directed by Gavin Kostick, Literary Manager of Ireland’s leading new play company, Fishamble and one of the country’s most produced playwrights. Gavin will help guide the participants in how to craft their mini play on the journey from Connolly to Bray. Once in Bray the group will take time for writing and gathering inspiration, and then make the DART journey back to Connolly Station, where they will take part in a feedback session at the station.
By the end of the day, the goal is for each of the 10 participants to have completed a very short play.
Irish Rail are the Transport Partners for Fishamble’s A PLAY FOR IRELAND from 2018-2019, which sees Fishamble: The New Play Company working with 33 playwrights and facilitators who will travel the island of Ireland for 27 workshops as 30 plays are developed, as part of Fishamble’s 30th year. At the end of the process Fishamble will produce and present one major Play For Ireland. A PLAY FOR IRELAND is run in partnership with six venues across the island of Ireland: Pavilion, Draíocht, Everyman, Lime Tree Theatre/Belltable, Town Hall Theatre and Lyric Theatre.
As part of this partnership, Irish Rail would like to share the joy of playwriting with the public by hosting this playwriting course with a difference on the DART.
To enter this competition, all you have to do is like and comment on the competition on Facebook, or retweet and comment on Twitter, telling us how you would benefit from of a day’s playwriting workshop on a train. The competition runs online from Monday 11th - Thursday 14th June, and winners will be chosen at random and notified on Friday 15th June.
Fishamble is an Olivier Award-winning, internationally acclaimed Irish theatre company, dedicated to the discovery, development and production of new work. This year the company celebrates 30 years of new plays in Ireland through its many productions and extensive development programme. Fishamble is at the heart of new writing for theatre in Ireland, typically supporting 60% of the writers of all new plays produced on the island of Ireland every year and has told the story of Ireland over 30 years through daring new plays and award-winning productions.
The Transport Partner for A PLAY FOR IRELAND is Irish Rail.
Tesco Finest is a supporter of A PLAY FOR IRELAND.
Press information: Sinead O’Doherty, O’Doherty Communications t: 01 679 8476 / 086 259 1070 firstname.lastname@example.org
Audience reactions from our Irish tour
"I’m in awe. What an outstanding piece of writing. Powerful words, powerful message, powerful performances #MazandBricks is a must-see folks."
"Genuinely one of the most incredible, raw, real, humorous, gut wrenching, brilliantly written and brilliantly acted theatre experiences I’ve had. Absolute masterpiece."
"hilarious, heartbreaking, beautiful, honest powerful piece of theatre "
The Maz and Bricks Edinburgh tour is presented as part of the Culture Ireland Showcase at Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Fishamble is proud to announce that it will hold its first New Play Conference on playwriting and dramaturgy in Dublin on Thursday 24th May, 2018.
The Fishamble New Play Conference will focus on professional development, new writing, dramaturgy, and the production of new plays in Ireland. The conference will be a mixture of short presentations, panel discussion and participant debate. The purpose will be to provide the sector with factual information and be a forum for future developments. This conference is intended for playwrights, and is open to anyone who is interested in discussing the future of playwriting in Ireland. The conference will be free to attend but ticketed.
The Fishamble New Play Conference is presented as part of Fishamble's New Play Clinic programme of events, supported by the Arts Council.
Thursday, 24th May
10am - 4pm
11 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1
Tickets are free of charge , please register HERE on Eventbrite to secure your place
Speakers will include:
Gavin Kostick (Fishamble: The New Play Company)
Rebecca Mairs (Lyric Theatre, Belfast)
Rosaleen McDonagh (Playwright)
Eva O'Connor (Playwright)
Rachel West (Head of Theatre, The Arts Council)
Caroline Williams (Stewart Parker Trust)
More speakers to be announced.