News & Essays

CONNECT / MAKE MAGIC – How to Book

CONNECT / MAKE MAGIC – How to Book

With Declan Gorman

Booking is still open for the Weekend Drama workshop at The Barbican Centre, Drogheda this Friday & Saturday 9th and 10th Feb (10.30 – 5.30 daily – but with some flexibility if needed)

All you need to do is confirm by texting or phoning me (086-3615585) or by e-mail (declangorman@yahoo.co.uk) or find me on facebook and message me there, giving your name and indicating if you will be paying the full 60 euro or if you are eligible for the concession (50 euro – OAP/Job-Seeker/Student).  Booking remains open until Friday 8th at 12.00 noon, but confirmation before that is greatly appreciated as it helps in planning.

Please wear loose comfortable clothing (ideally tracksuit / ski-pants etc., type of gear) and suitable footwear (runners, soft shoes etc), as there will be a some moving around involved!

Offering friendly advice...
See? Magic?  An invisible conductor’s baton!!!

A REMINDER OF WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT:

 Aimed at non-professionals and professionals alike: (actors, writers, directors, teachers – aspiring, mid-career, enthusiast – pick your label….) and open to serious newcomers – this 2013 workshop series is aimed at all who love to perform, to create and make meaning together through theatre.

Over two intensive days, you can expect to:

– Connect with a diverse group of like-minded theatre-makers

– Learn new performing skills, exercises, games etc

– Improvise and devise scenes through dialogue and movement

– Engage in creative writing

– Develop skills in creating character and narrative

– Create new work

Declan Gorman to return to the stage? … No … Not possible…

The rumours are true… I shall return to the stage after an absence of …. some… years this July. Bachelors Walk Productions are planning to present my new one-man show The Dubliners Dilemma, adapted from James Joyce, as a lunchtime event, opening July 2nd. ,

The venue will be the new City Arts premises, No 15 Bachelors Walk. Watch out for Facebook postings, text alerts etc re info and booking details. For now, make a mental note …

…I MUST GO AND SEE DECLAN’S JOYCE SHOW DURING JULY.

For more information, go to http://www.bachelorswalk.wordpress.com

Delighted to be returning to NYU… Dublin!

Off-Campus: A site-specific workshop with NYU students, with fellow teacher Bisi Adigun: Cooley Mountains 2007

Graduate students of drama at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Humanities will return to the Trinity College Dublin campus from July 22nd to August 11th this year to pursue intensive study in Applied and Community-Engaged Theatre. 

I am delighted to join the programme as a teacher and director once again.  This will be my seventh year associated with the programme, which is part of a triangle of Study Abroad opportunities that also sees some of these students spend three weeks pursuing Theatre-in-Education in London and thereafter proceeding to Rio to learn Theatre of the Oppressed methods under direction of members of the late Augusto Boal’s troupe. 

It is always challenging and refreshing to work with the NYU students and with my fellow Irish and American colleagues on the summer program.  Bring it on!

Border Chronicles now Available to Puchase Online

Following a brief technical delay, the (three!!!) plays that make up The Border Chronicles Trilogy are now available to download from the PLAYOGRAPHYIreland website at their standard purcahse fee of 20 euro per script.  To go directly to the relevant pages, click here: http://irishplayography.com/search-simple.aspx?playtitle=&authorfirstnames=Declan&authorsurname=Gorman&includeirishlanguage=true

The trilogy comprises Hades (premiered 1998); Epic (2001) and At Peace(2007).  Drawing from mythologies of Greece, Ireland, West Africa and the Baltic region, each of these plays was devised, written, and set within the year in which it was premiered.  As such, these dramas were an attempt to present a contemporaneous, live  chronicle of borderlands life as the major political events of a decade unfolded, while at the same time avoiding didactic realism by drawing from the surreal anarchy of ancient shapeshifting myth and lore.

PLAYOGRAPHYIreland comprises two comprehensive online searchable databases and catalogues: Irish Playography (all new Irish plays produced in English since the formation of the National Theatre in 1904) and Playography na Gaeilge (all new Irish plays produced in Irish since 1975).

The texts of The Border Chronicles have not previously been published or available to a general readership, although sample extracts can be read on this website and anyone wishing to find out more can contact me at declangorman@yahoo.co.uk.

Contact me for short-term services…

Do you run an organisation that needs some short-term creative advice, leadership or teaching input?

As well as pursuing my own writing and directing projects (to which this website is mainly dedicated) I run an occasional freelance ARTS-CONSULTANCY service, i.e. providing advices or leading hands-on projects for other artists, arts organisations, colleges or community groups.

I am currently (Spring 2012) taking on new projects of varying types and duration and am open to hearing of opportunities in the arts, educational and community sectors – preferably (though not exclusively) of a short-term or part-time nature.

Offering friendly advice...

This link DeclanGormanArtsServices will take you to a PDF document which suggests diverse areas where I may be able to contribute to organisations’ and individuals’ needs. I am open to any adventure, large or minute, and looking forward in these coming months to combining my own creative work with assisting others in theirs.

Meantime, if you are a new visitor, I hope you have an  opportunity to browse through the website generally, set up last Spring and recently updated.  Click here to go to the home page.

Declan G.

Typewriter: The Month’s Mind

A few friends (OK… two…) have asked if I might make available my performance piece entered for the Flat Lake slam exactly one month ago on the theme, “The Typewriter is Dead, Long Live the Typewriter”.  Ir seems the last factory in the world producing typewriters finally ceased production in May of this year, in India.  There were several terrific poems and performances on the theme.  The event was compered by the fabulous Gombeens of Galway (the new Marx Bothers) and judged by three children under the age of ten, with the top prize of seventeen million euro going to two charming children (unrelated to the judges) from North County Monaghan.  The victors were joined onstage for their acceptance speech by their four year old cousin whose rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was – for most people there – the highlight of a memorable festival.  In all, upwards of 197 poets performed in the slam, so I was very proud to come almost second (according to Jonathan and Migel of the Gombeens – the placings were never made public…).  My poem was inspired by the presence at the festival of the eminent author Anthony Cronin.  It is called, “Dead as Doornails” and you can read it (preferably aloud) here… 

Still floating on the Flat Lake

As usual, the annual Flat Lake Festival has restored my soul for another few months!

Thanks to various friends for texts and messages of well wishing for my first reading from the novel-in-progress.  It went well.  Sadly, Rosita with whom I was due to read had to cancel at the last moment.   As I now had extra time, I was delighted to ask Sharon to join me for part of the presentation (that’s Sharon Cromwell – actress – my partner) and we read a short story for multiple voices together.  This is a link to yesterday’s Irish Times colour piece about the Flat Lake Festival.  My rather emotional Facebook response of last night (which took up 3 postings, now that FB has restricted its word count to 420 characters…) ran:

“(the review) kinda gets it… but doesn’t quite capture the sense of homecoming, the bumping into dozens and scores of people you went to school with, who taught you at school, who you taught, who saw a play you were in, who were in a play you saw, who were in a play with you, who you have admired since you started reading, whose work you only discovered a few weeks ago, whose work you only discovered when you sat and listened to them today in the barn, about whom you were WRONG all along…, the hilarity of barbecuing an Irish fry-up breakfast in the bucketing rain, the utter joy of watching Sam Shepard serenely singing and playing with lads you drink with in Drogheda, the reminder that Aaron Monaghan is the exceptional actor of his generation… the inimitable
Gombeens, the dyke with the bike (what a poem!), the disco phone box (Tom Canning apparently preserved in aspic since I last saw him c.1979).  If you want to understand Cavan/Monaghan, or the impossible concept of a local, down-home, rustic culture that survives globalisation by riding it, gliding on it, staying one step ahead of it by borrowing brazenly from it, book now for next year’s Flat Lake…

Gorman among the Round-Up at Flat Lake

In a rather rare public appearance these days (since I have little enough to shout about…) I will be reading from my new prose work in the legendary Butty Barn at the Flat Lake Festival this coming Saturday 4th June.  Fittingly at this rustic cowboy poetry rodeo, I will appear at High Noon, sharing the 12.00 – 13.00hrs slot with the renowned Rosita Sweetman (On our Knees; Fathers Come First and On our Backs).

Rosita Sweetman

Inimitable curator Pat McCabe has declared the Flat Lake to be a place where artists should be free to try out new and unfamiliar material and among those who have done so in the past are Jack L whose innovative Paul Robeson review was a revelation last year.  Where better then for a North Monaghan play writer to read from a storybook about Dublin?

For a gander at the bulging programme of events, visit the Flat Lake website. A weekend ticket including pitching rights for your wigman is only 75 euro if you book online.  If you get up late on Saturday, you may bring your Breakfast Butty into the barn with you.

Fun with MuPaPu

Children and adults from the Muirhevnamor estate in Dundalk entertained a packed house of local residents, peaceniks, local authority officials and sundry guests at the local sports complex with their marvellous Muirhevnamonster shadow puppet performance on Saturday 14th May.

Under the guidance of MuPaPu artists Vivienne Byrne, Mark Whelehan, Dearbhla McNally and Susan Farrelly, the 20 particpants created a fabulous parallel world inhabited by such colourful characters as Henrietta Monster who fears nothing… except the sludge at the bottom of the river; Fuddle Buddle who keeps getting caught in a bubblegum spider net and the boy-monster racers Hypnoshock, Robobrainwave and Bonemobile.  A screening of James Coogan’s video documentary of the event was shown at Dundalk County Museum last Thurssday 26th and at the International Puppet Festival at Ards on May 28th.  A monstrous, meteoric rise to fame if there ever was one!

Cool improvised soundtrack was provided by Ed Reynolds; I was privilged to be ‘guest storyteller’ and in a rare moment of reconciliation between warring regions, technical management was by that most peaceable of Drogheda-men John McGovern.  The EU’s Peace III programme funded the project which was produced by the renowned crafters of fine things in the North East, Louth Craftmark.

Border Chronicles Trilogy Online

The texts of my Border Chronicles 1997 – 2007 trilogy are to be made available online from late July 2011 through the PLAYOGRAPHYIreland website.   The trilogy comprises Hades (premiered 1998); Epic (2001) and At Peace (2007).  Drawing from mythologies of Greece, Ireland, West Africa and the Baltic region, each of these plays was devised, written, and set within the year in which it was premiered.  As such, these dramas were an attempt to present a contemporaneous, live  chronicle of borderlands life as the major political events of a decade unfolded, while at the same time avoiding didactic realism by drawing from the surreal anarchy of ancient shapeshifting myth and lore.

PLAYOGRAPHYIreland comprises two comprehensive online searchable databases and catalogues: Irish Playography (all new Irish plays produced in English since the formation of the National Theatre in 1904) and Playography na Gaeilge (all new Irish plays produced in Irish since 1975).

PLAYOGRAPHYIreland not only defines the Irish theatrical repertoire for the first time but also aims to revitalise that repertoire by reintroducing many lost scripts and providing a gateway for locating and clearing rights for all existing scripts. As PLAYOGRAPHYIreland allows writers to attach downloadable versions of their plays to the database, it is also acts as an online script repository.

The texts of The Border Chronicles have not previously been published or available to a general readership.  From August 2011, they will be downloadable separately (or you can get them all!)  for a wee fee, along with a new reflective Afterword which I added on this year.  In the meantime, sample extracts can be read on this website and anyone wishing to read more can contact me at declangorman@yahoo.co.uk.