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Next up: I will be launching None of That: A Black Books Podcast

26 Jan 2011

Half way through intensive workshop week

It is Wednesday morning, and I am half through the intensive workshop week with Soilsiu Films, and calling it intensive has been a fititng description of the week. The day starts at 8am, with a group walk, and then for the most of the rest of the day we are in character doing improvisation workshops, before finishing the evening off with a documentary screening about the effects of child sexual abuse on the victims.

The material we are working with, based on Detective Martin Ridge's memoir as a detective investigating the rape of dozens of children by a priest in rural county Donegal is both harrowing, and also maddening because of the behaviour of the priest in question, Fr Greene and conspiratorial nature of the Diocesan cover up. Such is the depth of our analysis of the material, a psychologist, Dr Jeannie Cashin is on hand, should we need her.

Thankfully the day is broken up by various outdoor activities provided by Gartan Outdoor Education Centre, such as rock climbing, and cycling, ably led by Ed Humm and Charlie Cassidy. Cycling among the mountains, even on a blustery, wet day, is incredibly refreshing, and gives a much needed release.

The actors also on the workshop are Andrea McCaffrey, Anna Fox, Colm O'Brien, Jeremy Earls, Liam Halley, Melissa Nolan, Ruth Calder-Potts and Shane O'Reilly - all based in Dublin, and all incredibly talented. Developing characters from scratch through improvisation workshops is difficult, but with such a high calibre of talent, things took shape quickly.

This is an entirely new experience for all of us, including the director, David Rane, and his co-writer, Paul Bonar, but with a project of this magnitude, and importance, it is worth pushing limits for the art.