Fly Me To The Moon - Review

October 3, 2013

Enjoy a review before coming to see the show in Draiocht next week, Wed 9 October, 8pm

"Telling the story of two bolschy careworkers; Francis Shields (Kate Tumelty) and Loretta Mackey (Tara Lynne O’ Neill), Fly Me to the Moon, revives the notion amongst its audience that it is okay to laugh at what is tragic ..."

Read Full Review HERE ... 

Book Tickets HERE ... 

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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre,

Break - A review by Blogger Darragh Doyle

September 10, 2013

Break in 13 words by Darragh Doyle ... "Captivating, physical, sympathetic, pity invoking, challenging, perfectly cast, brilliantly performed believable tragicomedy. Wow." ...

Read Darragh's full review below ... 

I really liked this show.

Do you remember what age you were when you first realised your teachers were people and that what they did was "only" their job? I was probably 14 or 15 when it hit me first and I'd like to think it changed the way I dealt with them and made me give them a bit more respect. I'd like to think that. It's probably not true.

BREAK, as you'll read, is a staffroom show and presents a situation few of us would be able to deal with. What happens when something goes wrong at work? What happens when despite best intentions, what should happen doesn't happen? Can't happen? Are teachers the best people to deal with some things that happen? If not, who is?

Anyone who has seen 'I Alice I' or 'Eternal Rising of the Sun' will know Amy Conroy is a great writer and performer. In BREAK she has gathered other great performers and delivered one of the more realistic, intense and terrific shows I've seen in quite a while. She's made a staff room interesting and delivered a new insight into what teachers have to deal with. I found this play to be very well written, expertly cast and performed and very much one that gave me a different insight into a teacher's role.

There's laughter, romance, jealousy, frustration, shopping, screaming, fighting, kissing and more in the play - more than enough to satisfy the most demanding of audiences. There's a build up too to two events that you'll want to see happen, but will they? 

//"How in the name of God did it come to this? Unacceptable. Do you think this is reasonable at a time like this? Do you think I like having to come in and face this? Give out? I'm not paid enough for this. You're teachers for God's sake".//

There's clever staging in BREAK - the sounds of the schoolyard, the sound effects, the lighting all give the show a substantial feel. Simple dialogue introduce Jan, Jeff, John, Karl and Margaret/Mags who have to deal with Kelly, an external person brought in to deal with the third years after an event.

And so let's talk about Kelly, played by Elayne Harrington.

Those familiar with Temper-Mental MissElayneous will know she has a distinct, independent and forceful style of delivery and BREAK capitalises on this, delivering one of the most enthralling Irish characters on stage in ages. It's difficult to imagine anyone else playing the role and Elayne does it with an enviable comfort, almost ignoring the fact she's on stage at all. She was perfectly cast and acted expertly. She was, quite simply, great to watch.

Similarly all cast played their roles with credible and quite often personal details. Some I'd seen in roles before - Clare Barrett has a great knack of picking believable characters - and others I hadn't but I wrote "Perfectly cast" in my notes four times last night. They're delivering demanding performances and doing it well.

//"There are always kids that you don't like. Nobody prepares you for this. The ones who want you to like them but you can't".//

While a tragedy is at the heart of BREAK, there are many comic parts. Teachers - for who else could guffaw so loudly at the Croke Park reference - dotted the audience last night and were distinguishable by their knowing laughs, sighs and exclamations. It's not just for teachers though - anyone interested in what goes on for people dealing with teenagers should watch. 

See it for the laughs, for the buzz between Kelly and the teachers, for the build up to two revelations, for the pure laugh-out-loud moments and the divilment in the show. Bring a teacher if you know one. They'll love it too. 

Thanks Christine/HotForTheatre for the invite. Very much appreciated.
Darragh saw BREAK by HotForTheatre at Project Arts Centre.
Runs until Saturday 21 September 2013 in Project and then travels to Draiocht Blanchardstown for 2 shows, Friday Sept 27 and Saturday Sept 28, 8pm, Main Auditorium, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival on Tour. Tickets €16/€14 conc.

Book Here or phone Box Office 01-8852622

Break is written by Amy Conroy
Directed by Veronica Coburn
Lighting & Set Design by Paul Keogan
Cast includes: Clare Barrett, Amy Conroy, Elayne Harrington (Temper-Mental MissElayneous), Damien Devaney, Tom Lane and Mark Fitzgerald.

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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre, Amy Conroy, Veronica Coburn,

Interview with Shaun Dunne - Death of the Tradesman

May 27, 2013

Interview with Shaun Dunne - Death of the Tradesman

Death of the Tradesmen plays Draiocht on Friday 7 & Saturday 8 June, 8.15pm. Tickets €16/€14 conc … Book Here

Caomhan Keane talks to Shaun Dunne about Death of the Tradesman, which returns, as part of The Lir Revival Award, this week.
Taken from

Tradesman seems like a natural follow on to the conversation you started with Homebird. Was that deliberate or just representative of you writing about what's going on in your own world?

Tradesmen is actually an older idea. I had the idea for Tradesmen when I was in school so the line of work kind of just came out that way. Homebird definitely represents the younger generation while Tradesmen covers our parents demographic. The progression may seem sort of planned or coordinated and its weird to think now that Tradesmen was actually conceived as an idea first... I suppose Homebird feels very like the beginning of everything for me.

Your plays seem like you are trying to work things out but haven't made a definitive opinion. Is that your process? Do you have a definite idea as to what you want to say when you start or are you informed by research and contemplation?

I think that's very much how I approach the subject initially, yeah. I don't like to come down too heavy on either side. The work is more about presenting a situation or a process than it is about giving an answer either way. I think that's more interesting and I don't want to preach what I think the answer to particular social issues are. A lot of the time there is no one way. Myself and my collaborators definitely come to our own realisations but we like to leave room in the shows for the audience to take the subject further.

Where did the idea for Tradesman come from?

My father is a carpet fitter who has been largely unemployed for the past five years. When I first read Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller in school, I remember thinking there were a lot of parallels there. Work wasn't as dry for him back then though so it was only when things got really bad that I started to think about the idea more seriously.

How did you develop it from the idea to get it stage ready?

I started with interviews. I sat down with several different tradesmen that an unemployment service called Jobcare put me in touch with. I also took part on their Employment Preparation Course, which helped me get in the mind frame of a person looking for work. After that I began to write. Then when we started to develop the show on its feet with Lauren Larkin and Talking Shop Ensemble we would improvise with the script. This helped to find a structure and really honed the editing of the piece. The show also benefited hugely from a residency I did called TITLE as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival. I worked with dramaturg Thomas Conway and the piece really sped along after that.

Tell me how your director helped shape this project?

We didn't work with a director per say. When I approached Lauren and Talking Shop we discussed how the piece might be made and we all agreed that myself and Lauren would stage the piece together while Lisa Walsh and Aisling Byrne would co-choreograph. We also had the added outside eye of our second dramaturge, Aifric Ni Ruaric. We work as an ensemble so everybody has their say in some way across the board. This is the same for designers and stage management. Anyone in the room is encouraged to chip in where they want. It's a very open environment where suggestions and ideas come from all angles- at times this can make your day a little longer but it's how we like to work. There will be days that certain people take the lead in certain ways - the way a director would - and as the conceiver of the piece that can often fall with me but the emphasis on the ensemble is huge.

Was Lauren Larkin your first choice of wife?

First and only. Originally, I thought it was a one-man show and I didn't even imagine myself in it initially. The play has a documentary strand to it, which pulls from the fact that myself and Lauren are the children of tradesmen. If Lauren wasn't in the piece the piece would have to change.

Who, directly and influentially has shaped Talking Shop's style?

There are two styles at play when Talking Shop and Shaun Dunne present together. My main influence would be my degree in journalism - this is where the documentary strand comes from - while Lisa and Aisling from TSE are Theatre Studies alumni so their influences are from a completely different bag.

We both want to make work about what it is to live here and now though so we unite on that. The main influences in my writing would be my parents... they taught me how to speak after all... them and the people I grew up around.

What's next for you and the rest of Talking Shop?

Touring Tradesmen! We've got a few dates lined up in the coming year so we're going to be pretty tied up with that. We're also starting development on our next piece where we hope to explore service provision for people with disabilities in Ireland, and are beginning a collaboration with St John of Gods Community Services shortly so it's all go really!


Death of the Tradesmen plays Draiocht on Friday 7 & Saturday 8 June, 8.15pm. Tickets €16/€14 conc … Book Here …




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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre,

Review of The Man in the Woman’s Shoes

May 13, 2013

Read more ... here ... 

Friday 17 & Saturday 18 May 2013, 8.15pm


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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre,

Have the courage to be seen … A Review of Eternal Rising of the Sun

April 29, 2013

Have the courage to be seen … A Review of Eternal Rising of the Sun

‘Have the courage to be seen …’

Self confessed FEEDER and top soup chef at Betelnut Café at Draíocht, Will O’Reilly, shares his thought’s on ‘Eternal Rising of the Sun’, coming to Draíocht on 23 & 24 May, 8.15pm.


Gina Devine, the outspoken, shape-throwing heroine of HotFORTheatre’s ‘Eternal Rising of the Sun’, is unhappy. Tormented by an abusive father, struggling through a teenage pregnancy and inheriting an idiotic boyfriend, Gina finds solace at the back of a local contemporary dance class. Her struggle to keep up with teacher Anto’s instructions illustrates her steely determination, a determination that has kept her afloat in a difficult life so far and she spares us nothing as she imparts her disturbing tale with humour, strength and poignancy.

I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of Amy Conroy, the actor/writer behind this powerful piece of theatre, during its rehearsal stage at Draíocht, whenever she popped out to me for (a much needed, I’m guessing!) coffee. Her modesty and soft Kerry accent belied the incredibly resilient, and uniquely Dublin, character that she, alongside director Veronica Coburn, were creating on a daily basis over the summer of 2011. With my interest piqued after our conversations, I went along to one of its earliest performances at the Dublin Fringe Festival. Words failed me after the stage went dark at the end of Gina’s account and I soon realised that I wasn’t alone. A stunned audience momentarily silenced by Amy Conroy’s powerful performance and trying to process what they had all laid witness to, leapt to a rapturous ovation.

I won’t lie to you; this is an incredibly upsetting play, difficult to watch at times but impossible not to. Gina, however, is a natural born story teller and she laces her account with a wicked sense of humour and some neat dance moves to boot. There is redemption, albeit difficult to swallow and an awareness that comes to Gina through the title of this piece.

‘Eternal Rising of the Sun’ has stayed with me long after its curtain fell, and the fate of Gina (and all the ‘Gina’s out there) have niggled at the back of my head ever since. Gina’s story needs our ‘courage to be seen’ and I look forward to its return to Draíocht.

Will O’Reilly

THURSDAY 23 & FRIDAY 24 MAY 2013, 8.15PM 

Draíocht Studio // Tickets €18 / €14 conc 
Duration: 80 mins (no interval)




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By Draíocht. Tags: Theatre, Amy Conroy, Veronica Coburn,

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