Fishamble: The New Play Company announces the 6 shortlisted playwrights as its search for A PLAY FOR IRELAND comes to its penultimate stage.
Shortlisted titles & playwrights are:
Duck, Duck, Goose by Caitríona Daly
In Passing by John Doran
Wreckquiem by Mike Finn
A Line of Work by Marina Ni Dhubháin
Ballybaile by Jody O’Neill
The Alternative by Michael Patrick & Oisín Kearney
As part of its 30th year in 2018, Fishamble: The New Play Company set out to find one, big, ambitious play, that bursts with humanity and tackles a subject about which the playwright feels passionate - A PLAY FOR IRELAND that captures the zeitgeist of the country, that demands to be produced.
Submissions were invited from across Ireland at the start of a two-year process, which encouraged the citizens of Ireland, and non-Irish citizens living on the island of Ireland, to write plays, engaging people aged 18+, from all communities, throughout the country. The initiative has seen Fishamble develop 30 new plays with playwrights throughout the island of Ireland during the first round of this initiative, and later this year will result in the production of one very special new play.
Today Fishamble announced the 6 shortlisted plays which now move forward into the final stage of this process. Each will be workshopped with the Fishamble team and then, in April the chosen Play for Ireland will be announced. A PLAY FOR IRELAND is run in partnership with six venues across the country, Lime Tree Theatre & Belltable, Draíocht, Everyman, Lyric Theatre, Pavilion Theatre, Town Hall Theatre – one playwright from each group that has worked closely with these theatres in this process has now been chosen to move to this penulitmate stage.
'Fishamble has been honoured to work on the development of 30 plays throughout 2018 with a wonderful group of playwrights. It has been difficult to reduce this selection to the shortlisted 6. We are thrilled to be working on the further development of this half dozen plays, with our partner venues, and look forward to what the results will be.'
Jim Culleton, Artistic Director of Fishamble
The shortlisted plays and playwrights are:
Duck, Duck, Goose by Caitríona Daly – Draíocht, Blanchardstown
Duck, Duck, Goose - In an attempt to help his friend, Chris Quinn becomes deeply embroiled in a rape allegation. When rules are changing and confusion reigns supreme, Chris struggles between loyalty, love and doubt.
Caitríona Daly is a playwright from Dublin. She is a graduate from both The Lir's MFA in playwriting and the Royal Court's Young Playwright programme. Her plays have been produced in Ireland, England, and Scotland. Most recently she was nominated for the Fishamble New Writing Award at the Dublin Fringe Festival for Normal in 2017 and an Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play for Test Dummy in 2016. Caitríona is currently a participant of Six in the Attic, an Irish Theatre Institute Resource Sharing Initiative, from 2018-2019.
In Passing by John Doran – The Everyman, Cork
In Passing explores Ireland's relationship to things like community, substance abuse, self-expression and religion. The setting is an over-used community hall somewhere in Ireland.
John's previous writing credits include The Centre of the Universe (Show in a Bag), Some Flood (Devious Theatre), Standing Ovations (Monologue for RTÉ Arena), Late Arrival (Monologue for RTE Arena), Folk (Smock Alley Scene & Heard Festival), Liberty Ghost (St Patrick's Day Festival) and The Banshee of Coil Crua (Childrens Story). As an actor, he's devised material on multiple projects with Collapsing Horse, Devious Theatre, Theatre Lovett, & Willfredd Theatre.
Wreckquiem by Mike Finn –Lime Tree Theatre and Belltable, Limerick
In Wreckquiem, as developers close in on his ramshackle record shop, Dessie Fitzgerald and a motley crew of misfit customers fight a rearguard action in the face of 'progress'.
Mike Finn is a playwright, screenwriter and actor who holds an MA in Scriptwriting from the National Film School and has had over fifty scripts produced in various media. Among his plays are Pigtown (winner of the Stewart Parker Award and produced Off-Broadway), The Quiet Moment, The Crunch, and Shock & Awe, (Island Theatre Co.), Ellis Island (Theatre USF, Florida), Stories (LYT), Langered and One (Balor Theatre Co.), The Big Question (Institute of Excitement, Hampstead Theatre, London), We Are What We Witness, The Revenger’s Tragedy and Porkville (Bottom Dog) and Life In 2 Syllables (Fishamble, seen in Dublin, New York and Washington and described by The Guardian as ”ingeniously written”). Mike also wrote the book for the musical The Unlucky Cabin Boy (Guna Nua) and co-wrote On The Wire nominated for a ‘Best Production’ Irish Times Theatre Award in 2014. In April 2019 Mike’s new play about the Limerick Soviet, Bread Not Profits will be produced in Limerick. For television, Mike has co-written extensively with Pat Shortt including thirty six episodes of the IFTA nominated Killinaskully, seven episodes of Mattie and the pilot of Behind The Crystal Ball. Mike wrote the radio drama It’s A Worthless Life for RTE 1 and Little Bits Left Over for Limerick 95FM. In 2017, Mike was Theatre Artist-in-residence at the Belltable in limerick.
A Line of Work by Marina Ní Dhubháin – Town Hall Theatre, Galway
A Line of Work is the story of a woman who lives agelessly through three generations of social and ideological transformations in the Irish workplace.
Marina Ní Dhubháin works between Galway City, where she is a theatre researcher at NUIG, and Dingle in West Kerry, where she develops work with community theatre group Aisteóirí Bhreanainn. An Irish Research Council scholar, her research areas relate to memoryscape, documentary and oral history performance, with a particular focus on practice- led applications. Her Irish language theatre projects have focused on play with archival sounds, devising through translation from literary scripts and traditional story-telling. Marina is a member of the recently established theatre-making collective Garraí an Giorria who are developing a range of new pieces for the professional theatre, as Gaeilge.
Ballybaile by Jody O’Neill – Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire
Ballybaile is an attempt to represent Ireland in the current moment. It consists of 17 short plays, each named after a government department that explore how decisions and policies made at a governmental level impact on the lives of citizens. Within this structure, it investigates themes of community, isolation, family, climate change, identity, poverty, love and loss.
Jody O’Neill is a writer and actor, currently based in Wicklow where she spent much of her time learning about Pokémon, science and the Universe from her seven-year-old son. Jody’s interest in theatre began when her mother was a member of Haulbowline Theatre Group in the 1980s and they would often take the boat from Cobh to Haulbowline to see their productions. She went on to become a member of Activate Youth Theatre and then completed actor training at Trinity College. As an actor, Jody has worked extensively in theatre, television and as a voice over artist. Jody wrote her first short play for Fishamble’s Whereabouts in 2005. Since then, as well as writing for theatre, she has spent several years working as a story and script writer for RTE’s Fair City. Currently, she is developing work that promotes autism acceptance and inclusion. What I (Don’t) Know about Autism will be produced in early 2020, funded by the Arts Council and Wicklow County Council.
The Alternative by Michael Patrick & Oisín Kearney – Lyric Theatre, Belfast
The Alternative envisions a world where modern day Ireland remains unpartitioned as part of the United Kingdom. The action takes place on the eve of an independence referendum asking if Ireland will finally take its place among the nations of the world. But the arguments aren't as clear cut as you might think.
Oisín Kearney (director & writer) and Michael Patrick (actor & writer) run Pan Narrans Theatre in Belfast. Together they wrote the award-winning My Left Nut, which was developed through the Show in a Bag programme run by Fishamble, The ITI and The Dublin Fringe. Oisín directs both theatre and documentary films. He localised Willy Russell's script of Educating Rita, setting it in 1980s Belfast for the Lyric's production in 2016-17, and was Assistant Director. Oisín has Assistant Produced a number of feature documentaries, and his first feature as Director will be released later this year. As an actor Michael has worked with The Abbey, The Lyric, and is currently in rehearsals for the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2019 season. Together they're in the BBC Belfast Voices screenwriting scheme. Through this they've written for BBC's Soft Border Patrol and were shortlisted to write for BBC 3's The Break.
A PLAY FOR IRELAND is Supported by Tesco Finest. The Transport Partner for A PLAY FOR IRELAND is Irish Rail.
Here at Fishamble we've have had a busy 2018 marking our 30th year.
WORLD PREMIERES OF NEW IRISH WRITING
At the cutting edge of supporting, commissioning and presenting new writing in Ireland this jam packed year saw Fishamble present a number of world premieres:
SEARCH FOR A PLAY FOR IRELAND
As part of this their 30th year, Fishamble: The New Play Company also set out to find one, big, ambitious play, that bursts with humanity and tackles a subject about which the playwright feels passionate - A PLAY FOR IRELAND. Fishamble is halfway through their two-year process, which encouraged the citizens of Ireland, and non-Irish citizens living on the island of Ireland, to write plays, engaging people aged 18+, from all communities, throughout the country. The initiative is underway with 30 new plays being developed. The result will be the production of a very special new play. A Play for Ireland is run in partnership with six venues across the country, in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast: Belltable / Lime Tree Theatre, Draíocht, Everyman, Lyric Theatre, Pavilion Theatre, Town Hall Theatre.
As well as that, Fishamble also toured:
PLANS FOR 2019
Some of our plans for 2019 which will include:
Further productions and tours will be announced in due course. This includes the announcement of Fishamble’s A Play for Ireland which will be chosen in April, and produced in 6 venues across the island Ireland in the autumn 2019.
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