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15 May 2017

The Odd Couple (2012): One of 20th Century Theatre's enduring crowd-pleasers.

𝕺ne of the more successful productions I was involved in, as far as consistently high bums to seats ratio was The Odd Couple in 2012. It was directed by Mary Lindsay, who I had worked with previously during the rehearsed reading for Sitting Up for Michael. She was so perfect in the role of Doris, it tore me up that she was about twenty years too young for the part when it came to staging. 

8 Jun 2012

The Odd Couple, Sitting Up for Michael tour and Pick N Mix

Well, I've had such a hectic month - three plays in 30 days - that I haven't been able to find space to write here about it.

First, I was in the brilliant Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival as part of Skewiff Theatre's production of Neil Simon's classic, The Odd Couple. Alongside the not inconsiderable talent of Joe Lindsay, Morgan Hearst, Christian Winterman (nee Jackson), Griffin Madill, Moninne Dargan and Emma McErlean we packed out the Dark Horse bar - a testament to the talent of director Mary Lindsay.



Then, within three days of finishing that my own company King's Fool Productions finally brought Sitting Up for Michael to the stage. I've been writing ...Michael for the guts of two years now, and to see it finally on it's feet in front of a paying audience is a hugely gratifying experience. Helen Donnelly resumed directorship after skippering the rehearsed reading that Accidental organised in November 2011. The cast, including Marianne March, Naomi Rocke, Cathy Brennan-Bradley, Benjamin Gould, Brian Patrick Kennedy and Michael O'Sullivan were sourced from across Ireland and worked exceptionally hard to bring my vision to fruition, and I can't thank them enough. With a backstage crew of Glenn Hamill (stage manager), Kerrie Milford (props/costumes), Shireen Azarmi (sound/tech) and Sharon Curran (production manager) we couldn't fail to put on a top class production. The play debuted in The Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, before travelling down to The Strule Arts Centre, Omagh last week and tonight will conclude its tour in The Alley Theatre, Strabane. So far over 300 people have seen the show, so an extended tour in the near future may be on the cards!



Also, tomorrow (one day after ...Michael concludes - see not a moment to breathe!) I am in Accidental's production of Intervention, by Dave Kinghan. This thriller, set entirely within a tiny cell tells the story of two guerrilla performance artists who must try to figure out why they have been put there. This is the first full Accidental production I have been involved in, after working with them over the last few years on their rehearsed readings programme. It's great to be working with director Richard Lavery again, and with a three person cast made up of myself, Miche Doherty and Matt Faris, Accidental live up to their reputation as one of the leading emerging theatre companies in Belfast, and they are going to light up The Mac's Pick N Mix festival.

So as we go hurtling in to summer, I might have a chance to take a breather and watch some football - although not much by the looks of things!

11 Apr 2012

Sitting Up for Michael and The Odd Couple - A busy May!

This month I am going into the busiest month of 2012 so far as I'll be embarking on two stage productions, my own Sitting Up for Michael and Skewiff Theatre Productions' version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. 
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The Odd Couple, which is being directed by Mary Lindsey, who was in the rehearsed reading of ...Michael, is part of this year's Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, and is one of the Belfast Telegraph's picks of the festival. It's incredible I get to be part of the festival, as it has been a huge success over the years, and this year proves to be no different, with talent such as Rachel Austin, The Rubberbandits, and Dylan Moran just a tiny fraction of the entertainment on offer. The cast for the quick fire comedy is appropriately enough comprised largely of stand up comedians, led by Joe Lindsey and Morgan Hearst as the eponymous Couple, with support from Christian Jackson (who was in Incident at Vichy with me), Griffin Madill, Ruaidhrí Ward, Monnine Dargan and Emma McErlean. The play will be on in the Dark Horse Cafe from May 9 -12 and tickets can be purchased here.
While that is going on, I will also be in rehearsals with ...Michael, which is set to tour across the province in May and into June, but I will discuss that in a future post.