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, The 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.
On Saturday 28th April, we celebrated Fishamble's 30th Year in Belvedere House surrounded by many familiar faces, and some new ones too! We began the day with our very first workshop for A PLAY FOR IRELAND, meeting playwrights from our 30 chosen projects together for the first time. We then enjoyed a celebratory afternoon tea party with food and drink kindly provided by Tesco's Finest, to launch their sponsorship of A PLAY FOR IRELAND from 2018-2019. We were graced with a beautiful speech by Laureate for Irish Fiction and playwright Sebastian Barry, and messages from many of the wonderful people who we have had the pleasure of working with over 30 years.
Photographs by Leon Farrell, Photocall Ireland
"Little bit of speechifying for Fishamble at 30 years old" by Sebastian Barry
"Little bit of speechifying for Fishamble at 30 years old
Belovéd Fishamble! Wholly singular theatre company, so bright, so true. My friend Jim and his stellar officers. You give them a mere play and they stretch every sinew and bust every gut to outplay the devil and give it the very best life, the very best illuminated moment in the theatre. Imperfections will be gently but surely clipped away, Jim with his devious smile and his courtesy that cannot be withstood, or would be withstood on pain of -- outcome unknown.
My grandfather Papa Barry's back-garden wall divided his modest house from the monastery behind him in Donnybrook. Monks in camouflage brown hovered and muttered along the paths. But more importantly, the old stone wall, high and thick, had many a mortar-less gap, where imperial spiders lived, and draped their doors with their webs. These webs my grandfather would with utmost delicacy touch with a twig, and sure enough out would creep those time-blackened monsters, thinking in their laughable innocence that they had trapped a fly. It was only my grandfather there with his concentration and his joy, and me with my thumping heart.
This is Jim enticing a play out of you. He taps your web and out you creep and are so surprised to see him there, that almost without noticing you write a few pages. Then you retreat again to your dark lair, somewhat shaken and humbled. Then the web is Jim-tapped again, and oh my heavens, out you pop again, all hope and hunger, ah, but it is just that bloody Jim again. I will have to write another few pages to make him go away. Then you discard the metaphor altogether and come out as a human being, because Jim has started something that can end well or ill, but is unstoppable now.
True, he had to wait ten years for a second play from me, but was there ever a word of reproach? Not a one. Was there ever an episode of wheedling, whinging, hand-wringing, sue-threatening wailing and gnashing of teeth with mention made in maddened tones of wasted advances and personal insult? Not a murmur. Just all the usual devastating courtesy, kindness, respect, understanding. Fatal for the writer! What cunning and godlike plotting there is in that!
Gentleman Jim, whom we all love.
What is the theatre and how ancient is it? Who are actors and are they not something beyond human? Can we not hear the whispers of gods and catch the superhuman movement of myth in their performances? Like Liffeys and Corribs gone underground. A matter far far older than this culpable, straining, half-improving, half-disintegrating animal called homo sapiens sapiens, surely.
Who are theatre people in general anyway, who labour gladly all their lives to try to give audiences not just a night out, but veritable reasons to live. Reasons to be grateful for life itself. Theatre companies. Mobilised. On a warlike footing without war. All a strange matter really beyond words.
All the plays of Fishamble stretching back like the old lights of stars into a galaxy three decades wide.
Consider for a moment all the effort, all the damn phonecalls, the nervy auditions, the mad risks, the relentless acts of faith required, the cups of dubious coffee, the tea gone cold in a thousand emergencies in the rehearsal room, the panic, the broken hearts, the affrighted souls -- and then the unexpected nights where the very souls of the actors, the director, the designer, the composer, are freed, manumitted into free space, easy space, happy space, dancing space, where every disappointment is suddenly redeemed. When the writer looks on the actors with a grateful love, when the director shakes the writer's hand with solemn delight, when suddenly, the whole world is righted on its keel, and we are well-nigh delirious to be shipmates and soulmates on a blessed ship on a conquered sea.
And those other black, bleak nights when absolutely nothing is redeemed, but which forge the resolve to triumph next time, to do better next time. The two poles of theatre, between which all true theatre companies must be eternally ready and content to sail.
Dear Jim, and Noble officers of Fishamble, how blessed I am to have worked with you, how blessed all the writers. And you have rich decades left to cry havoc, to run amok anew -- gently, courteously, courageously, unstoppably.
Birthday Wishes from our friends
Today the 30 chosen projects to move to the next stage have been announced!
As part of our 30th year, we have recently 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!
We would firstly like to thank everyone who submitted for taking the time and effort to submitting their idea to Fishamble’s A PLAY FOR IRELAND. We were delighted to receive 372 submissions. The quality of the proposals and the writing samples was extremely high, and we were sorry not to be able to include as many ideas as we would have liked.
The selection process involved the ideas and samples being read by a panel from Fishamble and each of the venues nominated by the playwrights. This process was completed 'blind', so no one had access to the names or personal details of the applicants.
Then Fishamble and the venues all created a longlist, by choosing about a fifth of the submissions. At this point, personal details of the writers were added to the longlisted submissions, to ensure balance in gender, geography, etc. Everyone created a shortlist from this selection, and then the task of comparing notes, ensuring all partners had a selection of their top choices in the final selection, and checking how this overlapped with the playwrights' venue preferences, began. We know that many great ideas, by super playwrights, were not included in the final list, and hope that these plays will find other routes to development and, hopefully, production.
A PLAY FOR IRELAND chosen submissions contain stories on political change and tension, rural communities, gap years, tourism and heritage, relationships with history, facing adulthood, storm Ophelia, DNA testing, drunken walks home, the changing workplace and relationships within it, adoption and foster care, family crisis, alcoholic parents, health care reform, nursing homes, small business owners, humanity and community, Irish independence, republicanism and nationalism, the Irish language, rap music, donut chains, government departments, eviction, the concept of home, prophecy, broken hearts, and theatre.
This is a two-year process, which encourages 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 will mentor playwrights throughout the island of Ireland, and result in 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; they : Belltable / Lime Tree, Draíocht, The Everyman, Lyric Theatre, Pavilion Theatre, Town Hall Theatre. 5 projects will be chosen to take part in the initiative in each venue, making a total of 30 plays, to mark Fishamble’s 30th birthday this year.
The writers of the 30 chosen plays (33 playwrights involved) are:
BELLTABLE – LIME TREE THEATRE, Limerick
Michael Hilliard Mulcahy
Jeda De Brí & Finbarr Doyle
THE EVERYMAN, Cork
Noelle Brown & Karen Cogan
LYRIC THEATRE, Belfast
Michael Patrick & Oisín Kearney
PAVILION THEATRE, Dún Laoghaire
Ciara Elizabeth Smyth
TOWN HALL THEATRE, Galway
Marina Ní Dhubháin
The playwrights will all gather for the first workshop in Dublin on Sat 28th April and then during 2018 they will take part in 4 workshops in their respective venues. At the end of the year they will each take part in one-on-one workshops for final notes on their draft script. After that 6 projects will go through to Phase 2 in 2019.
We are also delighted to announce that the Transport Partner for A PLAY FOR IRELAND is Irish Rail.
Today we were delighted to receive a message from President Michael D Higgins congratulating us on our 30th year.
"MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT MICHAEL D. HIGGINS
I am delighted to send my best wishes to Fishamble Theatre Company as you celebrate your thirtieth anniversary.
During the three decades since your establishment you have received acclaim at home and on the international stage, garnering many prestigious awards. You have also staged many brave and groundbreaking plays which have challenged, surprised and delighted audiences around the world. As you look back over thirty years of artistic endeavor you have much to regard with pride.
I wish you every success as you continue to nurture new and emerging talent, and to introduce another generation of theatre goers to truly innovative drama, theatre and performance.
Michael D. Higgins
Uachtarán na hÉireann
President of Ireland"
We thank the President for his continued support over the years, and for making today a Good Friday indeed!
Fishamble and Rosaleen McDonagh to perform at the Traveller Ethnicity Celebration on 15th March 2018
To mark the State’s recognition of Traveller Ethnicity on March 1st, 2017, the Traveller community is coming together to put on a day-long celebratory event in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. The first event of its kind, the Traveller Ethnicity Celebration – March 15th 2018 – is open to all people and communities to join the celebration showcase of culture, heritage, language and identity of Travellers, Ireland’s only indigenous minority.
A reading of 'Running Out of Road' by Rosaleen McDonagh, directed by Fishamble's Artistic Director Jim Culleton, will be performed as part of the programme at 3pm.
The Irish Traveller Ethnicity Celebration is a free, non-ticketed event. It is open from 11am to 6pm, with exhibitions, workshops, film, children’s entertainment and many more activities running throughout the day in 5 different locations. This event is supported by the Department of Justice and Equality.
From 8 March - 1 April 2018, FIshamble will be bringing the Pat Kinevane Trilogy to the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles in association with Georganne Aldrich Heller, supported by Culture Ireland.
The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Fishamble: The New Play Company in association with Georganne Aldrich Heller present
UNDERNEATH, SILENT & FORGOTTEN
8 March - 1 April 2018
Written and performed by Pat Kinevane
Directed by Jim Culleton
Los Angeles Creative Team
Sound Design & Composition by Denis Clohessy (Silent & Underneath)
Costume Stylist Catherine Condell
Choreography Adviser Emma O’Kane (Underneath)
Dramaturg Gavin Kostick
Produced by Beth Hogan, Eva Scanlan & Georganne Aldrich Heller
Stage Manager Beth Mack
Lighting Design by Pat Kinevane, Jim Culleton & Katelan Braymer
Fishamble's UK touring productions Underneath, Silent and Forgotten by Pat Kinevane and The Humours of Bandon by Margaret McAuliffe are supported by Culture Ireland as part of GB18: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain.
16-20 May The Humours of Bandon by Margaret McAuliffe at Brighton Festival, UK
30 May Forgotten by Pat Kinevane, Dundee Rep Theatre, Scotland
1 Jun Forgotten by Pat Kinevane, Paisley Arts Centre, Scotland
29-30 Nov Underneath by Pat Kinevane, Warwick Arts Centre, UK