Tag Archives: gaiety school of acting

Project Arts Center: Big Bobby. Little Bobby.

First Fortnight, The Art of Mental Health Festival, is in its full swing with a whole bunch of creative and educative events taking place all over the country: anything from music to dance, theatre and workshops are brought to the public in order to expand the general awareness of mental health.

Big Bobby, Little Bobby is a one-woman play written by Camille Lucy Ross and Kelly Shatter. This already highly acclaimed piece of Irish theatre by Brazen Tales Productions brings us into the world of Roberta (or Bobby), a nice, but very shy and insecure girl who has just moved out of her mother’s home to live alone. A child of not a very caring mother who always uses her daughter as the punchline for all her jokes, there is indeed not much space left for growing Bobby’s confidence. And just like anyone else, Bobby (played by Camille Lucy Ross) has unconsciously nurtured her own demons. One in particular. His name is Little Bobby. He lives in Big Bobby’s head and only comes out to let Bobby know how miserable, unlovable and pathetic she is. He never fails to remind Bobby that she is a loser and he is with her only because nobody else will.

But everything changes when Bobby falls in love. For the first time in a long and lonely life, there is hope that something might change for the better for Bobby. She just doesn’t know about it yet.

This one hour piece beautifully portrays what it is like to live with “a voice in your head” which is a constant reminder of your meaningless existence. And the way it’s shown in the play is very organic and easy to relate to. Just like Bobby says it herself “Life is difficult for everyone. Everyone has his own demons.”

In a wonderfully created combination of sound, light and movement we can see the transition of Big Bobby into Little Bobby. Camille Lucy Ross is a fantastic performer who knows well her craft and never ceases to surprise her audience. Her incredible ability to portray (both vocally and physically) a whole bunch of contrasting characters all throughout the play simply stuns the audience. It’s also hilariously funny. Every single character comes alive in an amazingly fleshed person, not caricature.

The play plays with your mind in a such a way that at times it makes you question whether it’s the same person on stage or not.

Being the winner of First Fortnight award (at Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival in 2015) another great thing about Big Bobby Little Bobby is that the play is presented as a comedy. It’s a very enjoyable and engaging watch with an important message. And any important information is much better perceived through laughter and humour.

Big Bobby Little Bobby runs until January 9, for more info or to book tickets, please visit: http://projectartscentre.ie/event/big-bobby-little-bobby/

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Filed under Big Bobby. Little Bobby., Brazen Tales Productions, Project Arts Center, Uncategorized

The writers of “Tales from The Woods” talk about their plays.

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October 31st might have passed but Hallowe’en isn’t quite over yet! For those of you, my faithful witches and wizards and other magical creatures, Theatre Upstairs has a very special gift! Tales from The Woods has entered in its second week and the reviews are absolutely raving! If you haven’t seen the play yet then I don’t know what you are waiting for! It’s an opportunity not to miss… Some of finest Irish writers and actors have come together to make this piece happen.

I, in my turn, had an amazing chance to ask the writers of Tales from the Woods a few questions about their mini-plays. And here is the result. Karl Shiels, Kate Gilmore and Gary Duggan explain what they wrote this particular piece, who inspired them, what was the most enjoyable/challenging and much much more.

Can you tell me what your own piece is about? 

Karl: My play is about two brothers standing trial in front of the creatures of the forest for the murder of a boy.

Kate: “The Ballad of Ginny Fogarty” is about three young women playing truth or dare around halloween and find themselves in Ginny Fogarty’s cottage in the woods. Alone.

Gary: A man’s car breaks down on the edge of the woods and he meets a little girl who says she’ll lead him to a phone. They walk through the woods together and we gradually realise that they both have secrets.

What/Who inspired you to write this piece?

Karl: The play is based on a very early Grimm Brothers tale called How Some Children Played at Slaughtering, it appeared in their very first publication of Grimm Tales but was never printed again. Some say it’s because their other “popular” tales grew longer, some say the subject matter was too harsh.

Kate: I was inspired by the old Irish song ‘The River Saile’ which I heard at various family parties throughout the years and now find very unnerving. It was the first thing that came to mind when I received the phone call from Karl.

Gary: Well Karl Shiels inspired me to write it, saying it only had to be ten minutes long and creepy. That was hard to turn down! Beyond that, I instantly thought of the Little Red Riding-Hood story and some way to put a modern twist on it.

What was the most challenging moment of writing this piece? 

Karl: I think the biggest challenge with writing the piece was how to truthfully portray/play pure fear on the stage. I think the company excelled at this…

Kate: I was performing and rehearsing for ‘The Train’ while writing this piece and found it difficult not to be influenced by that. Obviously in some ways, it’s good to take from your own experiences and I think I found a balance in the end. For example, the female empowerment I felt during rehearsals made it impossible for me to write for anyone other than the three female actors from Gumption.

Gary: It came out quite easily, as I sometimes find with short pieces with a specific purpose.

What was most enjoyable about writing this piece? 

Karl: The most enjoyable thing about writing this tale was getting to work with such talented and dedicated actors. Pure joy.

Kate: I always find limitations quite freeing so the fact that the piece could be no longer than 12 minutes made it really exciting. I had to achieve what I wanted to in that space of time.

Gary: Being able to play around with language and the theatricality of how it would appear on stage, after writing a lot of stuff recently that was rooted in realistic naturalism.

What lesson (if any) can we learn from your tale? 

Karl: The lesson to take from our tale would be…Be careful what you choose in life as it may have deadly consequences.

Kate: Curiosity really does kill the cat.

Gary: Don’t do bad things. And don’t go into the woods when the sun is starting to set.

Can you describe your play in three words? 

Karl: Scary As Fuck.

Kate: Mother Earth’s Revenge.

Gary: Twisted modern fairytale.

Tales from The Woods run in Theatre Upstairs until November, 7th. Make your Hallowe’en a tiny bit more special! Now that all the tricking is finally done, you can treat yourself to a night in a theatre. For more info and to book tickets, you know what to do: http://www.theatreupstairs.ie/tales-from-the-woods

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Smock Alley Theatre: The Full Moon Hotel

The Gaiety School of Acting, Class of 2015 presents its graduation play: “The Full Moon Hotel”, written by Philip Doherty and directed by Paul Brennan.

Every year the graduating class of full time students in The Gaiety School Of Acting presents a brand new play. A playwright and a director are specifically commissioned to work on this production. For the graduates sometimes it can be the last chance to present a pice of work together as a part of one group. Nevertheless, nowadays it has become quite popular for the whole graduating class to form a theatre company. The class of 2015 also has created a theatre company known as The Handy Baker Theatre Company.

Last Saturday I got to see the final 6th show of The Full Moon Hotel. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea what it was about (except for the teasers that had periodically appeared on The Gaiety school’s Twitter account). Nevertheless, The Gaiety school is known for producing some excellent actors and actresses and it´s always great to see those just-emerging talents when they about to board on their career path.

The Full Moon Hotel is a play about a hotel that had been built on an ancient fairy fort. People believe that the place is cursed and nothing good could happen there. The hotel is to be sold for debts, but the hotel owner isn´t one of those who easily gives up or believes in children´s tales. For him it´s business, nothing less. Unlike for his young daughter, who knows about the legend and is already waiting for the fairies to arrive any minute to claim what historically is theirs. But on this full moon night, the hotel has become quite a popular spot. Not one but four different parties are taking place at the same time. Here we have a boy´s night out where one of the friends reveals that he has cancer; a christening party; a goodbye party where some of the darkest secrets will be revealed; a kind of “meet my besties” party where the bride-to-be brought her future husband to meet her best girlfriends, unfortunately he wasn´t exactly what “the girls” had expected to see; and, finally, upstairs there is a birthday party at which none (except for an ex-girlfriend) of the guests turned up. Apart from the parties, there is a bunch of staff working in the hotel, including chefs and one waitress who has just had enough of all that bullshit. And then there is a guest. He is also having a party. Except that nobody is invited to that party. He uses props and a green screen to take pictures of himself and photoshop them later, so then he can publish them online and get many likes. The problem is that nobody is liking his pictures. A drastic decision has to be made about it.

The Full Moon Hotel is a very complicated but beautiful production. It organically combines the modern world with its problems and old Irish legends. The play is full of singing and dancing that adds to the whole atmosphere of a full moon night.

The play was very well done and very professionally produced. The script was brilliant, very funny with some quite memorable lines. As for the acting: it was on a very high level and I am really looking forward to seeing these talented people on the stages of professional Irish theaters in the near future.

The play has already ended, but more info could be found http://smockalley.com/full-moon-hotel/

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Filed under Graduation play, Smock Alley Theatre, The Full Moon Hotel, The Handy Baker Theatre Company