This page has info on two shows currently in rep, namely:
THE DUBLINERS DILEMMA, adapted and performed by Declan Gorman, based on “Dubliners” by James Joyce – See directly below.
THE BIG FELLOW, by Declan Gorman, based on Frank O’Connor’s biography of Michael Collins (touring nationally and internationally 2016-2018) – scroll down for more information:
THE DUBLINERS DILEMMA
Declan Gorman’s solo performance based on Joyce’s ever-popular first book of short stories has toured to every major venue in Ireland. It has been performed in Moscow and Oslo and has had specially commissioned showings for New York University, U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University. It will shortly embark on a short tour to Dallas and San Francisco. Prior to that it has dates in Listowel and at the Skerries Soundwaves Festival in September 2017.
London publisher Grant Richards rejected Joyce’s racy book of stories in 1906. Now in 1914, troubled in his conscience, he asks to see the still unpublished manuscript again. Re-reading it he is reminded of how greatly he admired it first time out but also why he simply could not do business with the petulant and stubborn young Irish writer. What should he do now? The streets and characters of Joyce’s Dublin come magically to life in all their sordid and comic glory in this solo performance, described as “compelling” (Irish Theatre Magazine); “ingenious” (Mail on Sunday) “truly mesmerising” (Metro Herald) and “effortlessly entertaining” (The Arts Review).
Directed by Gerard Lee
THE BIG FELLOW
Premiered at the Drogheda Arts Festival on May 1st 2016, The Big Fellow has enjoyed a successful run at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin an on tour in Ireland.
The play begins with O’Connor in his study engrossed in a scene from his controversial biography of Collins. As O’Connor writes, Collins literally comes to life and together writer and subject relive the excitement and ultimate tragedy of the 1916 to 1922 period. Collins returns to Dublin from London in 1916, an unknown West Cork volunteer signing up to take part in the Easter Rising, only to rise swiftly to mythical status as the intelligence genius leading the War of Independence. But why, he wonders now, is this urban Cork intellectual writing his story, just 13 years after his infamous death at Béal na Bláth? Gradually it transpires that Frank O’Connor was himself a boy soldier in the great Independence struggle, and the little-known story of his private war unfolds along with the grand narrative of Collins’ well known exploits.
The Big Fellow is historic drama but laced with comic interludes and the wild adventure of young men at the height of their passion and daring, before tragedy and recriminations break out. The Sunday Independent described it as ‘totally engaging’ while regional newspapers noted that “a wonderful use of humour is what differentiates Gorman’s drama from other historical narratives,” (Westmeath Examiner). Actors Gerard Adlum (as O’Connor) and Cillian Ó Gairbhí (as Collins) were singled out for their outstanding “energetic and passionate performances” while the musical score by ex-Waterboys Colin Blakey was acclaimed as “atmospheric”.
Lighting design by Cillian McNamara / Costume by Maureen Finn