As well as my own artistic endeavours, I am often engaged freelance on arts projects initiated by other people or agencies. Recent projects have included:
Eye Witness: Casement (Oslo): A commission from John Fitzgerald/Irish Art Oslo with the support of the Irish Embassy of Norway, a dramatised reading based on Roger Casement’s 1904 Congo Report. Casement’s investigations brought to light shocking human rights abuses by the Belgian King Leopold and his agents in the pursuit of lucrative rubber profits. This work is now being developed as a solo performance for Heritage Week 2017.
Bronte: Produced by Anaverna House, County Louth in association with Banbridge District Council. I was guest director on this project. Actress Sharon McArdle revives a one-woman play by American writer William Luce, wherein we meet Charlotte Bronte who has recently buried both her gifted young writer sisters, Emily and Anne. She reflects on her own achievement as a writer and the worry of entering older age alone in her father’s dark and uninviting parsonage.
Tydavnet N.S. Arts-in-Education Initiative: As part of the roll-out of the ground-breaking national Arts-in-Education initiative I was delighted in 2016 to partner a primary school in my native North Monaghan where along with teacher Fiona Coll, I worked with a group of twenty-four 10 – 12 year olds to create their own entertaining and original drama re-imagining life in a rural Monaghan village. The children’s performance, ‘One Day in Gorgals’ was performed at the school inthe presnce of Arts Minister Heather Humphreys in December. The A-I-E initiative is jointly sponsored by the Department of Education and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and is managed by the Irish Museum of Modern Art; Poetry Ireland and Music Network.
Mummers: (Phizzfest, Phibsboro) written by Des Gunning; directed by Declan Gorman: A gleeful romp for the Dublin New Year’s Eve Festival – upstairs in a pub at Doyle’s corner – the medieval Dublin tradition of mumming with all its jesting, swordplay and physical lunacy was given a modern update, taking in along the way bits of Joyce’s Finegan’s Wake, the mathematical equations of William Rowan Hamilton and the political legacy of Parnell, in Des’ quirky mix of intellectual and broad humour. I was delighted to step in as guest director for this Phizzfest production.
St. Patrick’s Day: Howth: with Bailey Productions: A local community pageant imagining a shipwrecked Patrick cast ashore in a primitive Howth Village and being met by a few suspiciously familiar Howth types. Scripted by Sam Andrews. I was pleased to come in a guest director and also as sometime puppet operator for this event as part of the Howth St Patrick’s Weekend Prawn Festival.