Tag Archives: Ciara Smyth

Pearse Centre Theatre: Wasting Paper (IDGTF)

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If you are looking for something to have a good old laugh, then look no further!

Presented as a special double bill deal (together with Nicole O’Connor’s Both Sides Now), Wasting Paper by Leah Moore is a real cracker like no other!

The play follows the story of Casey (played by Leah Moore), an eighteen year old gay teenager who is weeks away from doing her Leaving Cert exam. It looks like life is good for Casey. She is even some sort of a local celebrity, a modern day Shakespeare – Casey is a poem writer (the kind that gets invited to all the cool events and places like Electric Picnic and The Mansion House).

After a summer of success and adventure, Casey faces the last year of school before diving into the world of grown-up life. And there is one particular class she is more than eager to go back to – English language and literature, of course. But what a surprise to find out that her old teacher has been replaced by a younger version. The moment the 23 year old Tess walks into her first experience as a secondary school teacher, Casey immediately puts her eye on the forbidden fruit. And not that long passes before it becomes evident that Tess isn’t that uninterested in the tabu relationship herself.

This thirty minute piece wins its audience over not only with funny lines but also with some quite superb acting by both performers: Leah Moore and Ciara Smyth. Crispy delivery of the sharpened script, wonderfully fleshed out characters and loads of enthusiasm and energy make Wasting Paper truly stand out.

Wasting Paper really flies by before one can think twice, so cherish every minute of this female-driven experience. It’s really refreshing to see plays about both gay men and women as such an important issue touches both genders equally.

Wasting Paper, directed by Craig Connolly, runs in Pearse Center Theatre till May, 6th (with a 4PM and a 7.30PM performances on the final night). Fore more info or to book tickets: https://gaytheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873572855/events

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Filed under IDGTF, Pearse Centre Theatre, Squad Theatre Company, Uncategorized, Wasting Paper

Rehearsed Reading: All Honey

Sometimes even the professionals need to go back to the absolute basics. Nowadays, it’s quite easy to go over the top and wow the audience with the amazing decorations, costumes and special effects. It looks like there is nothing that a company can’t do provided that the budget is not an issue. This year I’ve seen everything from a rotating stage to a slow motion effect used in a Shakesperean play. I’ve seen small local fringe shows and big Broadway productions… without going too far, the most recent production I’ve attended – Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? – absolutely amazed me with the stage design (just like The Father did with its lighting design). But at the end of the day, it all comes down to how well-written the script is and how skillful the actors are who take upon themselves to portray those characters.

Yes, it’s true that if you are a professional actor, the size of the role or the lack of costume/decorations should not be an issue. But, let’s be honest. It helps. A lot. It helps the actor, who wants to properly immerse him/herself into the imaginary world, and it helps the audience to see that newly created world.

All this said, I hope you can imagine how difficult a rehearsed reading could be. Basically, it’s a raw material that the author is willing to present to the public’s fiercest judgement. There is absolutely no safety net to fall back onto in case the play flops. It’s absolutely up to the script and the cast to make the production shine. No pressure, right?

I had the pleasure of attending a rehearsed reading of Ciara Elizabeth Smyth’s new play All Honey (Smyth is the founding member of Sad Strippers Theatre Company and her previous work includes Pour it Out and Triangles) that was presented as part of New Writing Week at The New Theatre, Dublin. The play has an everyday setting: Mae (played by Aoibhéann McCann) suspects that her boyfriend Barry (played by Peter McGann) is cheating on her. She shares this knowledge with her best friend Ruth (played by Hannah Mamalis), who at first doesn’t take it seriously. Later that day during the party that Ru and her boyfriend Luke (played by John Doran) are holding, the girl starts picking up on different clues that Barry indeed might be secretly seeing someone else. Val (played by Ciara Smyth), a completely psycho living on the border of reality and imagination where every man adores her and she’s the diamond sushi on the menu of life, is the best candidate for the role. But the home detective Ru couldn’t even imagine who the real flower of Barry’s secret is.

The full reading, which lasted for approximately forty minutes, can easily be translated into a fast-pace one hour piece. The script is a real cracker with the wittingly written lines and  that the perfectly-matching cast brought to life. It picks up quickly and holds the emotion all the way through to the end. All Honey is an easy relaxing watch to take your mind away from everyday problems. It’s engaging and it’s captivating without being overloaded with information,  redundant details or unnecessary plot lines. It’s straight forward and interesting to follow. My only concern was that it ended way to fast and on a real kicker.

The reading was directed by the amazing Jeda de Brí, who always knows what she is doing and this time wasn’t an exception. Together with Ciara Smyth, they’ve managed to create a very promising piece that undoubtedly will be a success with the audience.

All Honey is a great example of the fact that Ireland does have some very talented, hard-working and challenging female theatre makers. And if you still have your doubts about it then keep an eye on this one. Ciara Smyth and company, at this very moment, are working to launch All Honey into a full production. With a bit of luck, we hopefully will see it in one of Dublin’s theaters sooner rather than later.

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Filed under All Honey, Rehearsed Readings, The New Theatre, Uncategorized

The International Bar: Triangles

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If you are in a bad need of a post-fringe detox (as one might easily be since there is such little time to get over one event just before another one is about to hit), then I’ve got just the right play for you. Sad Strippers Theatre presents Triangles.

Written by the company’s very own Ciara Smyth and performed by the other two company members, the play is an indescribable kaleidoscope of games that the characters play on stage and that entangles into one whole piece. Chair (played by Laura Brady), Muesli (played by Meg Healy) and Bread (played by Ciara Smyth) entertain themselves by re-enacting different scenes that they might have witnessed.  After the end of  each scene they repeat it again and again each time adding something new or switching characters. The result is always the same though usually unpredictable.

In this crispy fast-paced thirty minute piece, the three actors give a performance filled with an incredible amount of energy, joy and laughter. With the bare minimum that the performing space in the International bar can offer, the three actors did an amazing job to create the atmosphere. Not relying particularly on lights, set or props (as the majority of other productions usually do), the show was completely stolen by the beautiful and very skillful acting. The characterisation was remarkably strong. I was reminded of cartoons where each personality, even though blown up immensely, still remains believable, carefully crafted and quite unique.

Triangles is a great example of a story where the third isn’t necessarily the odd one out, but the wheel that keeps the show (and the laughter) rolling. So, if you find yourself stranded and lost on the path in between the two biggest theatre festivals, allow yourself a break and pop into the International Bar for a bun and a blast. Triangles is closing on September 30th. For more info or to book the tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/1665535230426742/

 

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Filed under Ciara Smyth, Sad Strippers Theatre, The International Bar, Triangles, Uncategorized