Past Work: Age by Dominic Curran (2016)

Past Work is a series where I look at some of the jobs I have done that I haven't blogged about for a variety of reasons

In November 2016, I was involved in the Black Box's Lunchbox Theatre program, a new writing scheme run by the venue for lunchtime performances. It's a very positive scheme that gives new writers in particular an outlet to have their work performed.

Dominic Curran's Age was the play I performed in, about a group of three adult brothers brought together ahead of their father's funeral to hear the reading of his will. They are naturally confused as to why the will is being read before the funeral mass, and it is also the first time the three have seen each other since they heard the news of their father's passing.

The theme that Dominic wanted to explore was the mistakes of youth, and whether those mistakes are confined necessarily to youth, or are they the result of circumstance or other factors? As my character said:

"I'm sick of feeling like the younger version of my self was stupider, or could have made different decisions. You look at Manus and you seeyour mistakes and I look at you and see mine, but I'm not sure we should feel that way. You're not stupid when you're young, you just think differently."

It was a very naturalistic comedy drama, which was a treat to act in. I played the older brother of the three, along with James Upritchard and Emmet Byrne, with Robert Kane appearing in a memorably snide performance as the executor of the will. We all had an easy rapport from the first rehearsal, which makes everything much easier - particularly in a naturalistic play.

The brilliantly creative Adam Turns stepped in to direct the play after the initial director resigned on conscientious grounds. Within minutes he completely rearranged the stage - not the setting, the stage! He took out a quarter of the floor space and transplanted it out to the house floor to act as a bar that was required at the end of the play, so the stage was a L-shape, something I hadn't seen before.

The daytime audience was respectful and thoroughly enjoyed the piece, and the writer Dominic Curran shows a lot of promise, and no doubt will be talked about in the future, and I hope I get a chance to work with him again.

James McAnespy as Fergal in Age by Dominic Curran
This is a sneaky selfie I took during the dress rehearsal.
James Upritchard and Robert Kane in Age by Dominic Curran
Another sneaky dress rehearsal photo!
James (left) and Robert lounging without shoes, I've just noticed!