Currently enjoying an upswing in blogging across various blogs from late 2011, I’ve finally settled on using kenmcguire.ie as a personal blog. Yes, the food, arts, and music are still getting attention, along with the events but as the content spin on kenmc.com weighs far more heavily on technology side than anything else (outside of 2011), I’m using kenmcguire.ie as a personal outlet for photos and projects I’m working on in 2012 so you might start seeing that one pop up a bit more on Twitter and Facebook.
After spending so long deliberating what direction to take kenmc.com in, I figure a complete change is as good as the rest.
Happy New Year to all.
While my blogging continues primarily over at AnyGivenFood.com, I’ve been keeping myself busy in the past few weeks with the above – bash:latterday plays by The Devious Theatre Company. It’s been a good year for me so far in terms of theatre, producing three shows with DTC, working with Watergate Productions, bringing shows to festivals in Dublin and Cork and now, moving on to my fifth and final theatrical production of the year.
This year also marked five years on the go for The Devious Theatre Company and has been a massive transition year for us. We spent the first six months of the year working as artists in residence with Kilkenny County Council’s Arts Office on our In The Future When All’s Well residency and having recently gone through the company formation process, we’ve secured a physical home for the theatre for the foreseeable future, allowing us to spend more time developing work and planning and plotting our 2012 and 2013 calendars.
bash, for me, presents a theatrical homecoming of sorts as it’s our first major production to stage in the intimate surrounds of Cleere’s Theatre in Kilkenny since we revisited Heart Shaped Vinyl in 2007 for an updated run of our debut production in 2006. It is, as they say, where the magic happened for us in the first place and we’ll be looking to recreate that from October 17th to 22nd.
What is this ‘bash’ you speak of?
bash was first performed in 1999. It became quickly renowned for its shocking and unflinching portrayals of everyday evil with the New York Times calling it ‘insistently brutal’. Like much of LaBute’s work, it exposes the dark and sinister undercurrents of clean cut middle American life. The play was considered so shocking at the time that LaBute was disfellowshipped by the Church Of Latter Day Saints, of whom the characters in bash are members.
The play consists of 3 stories with a loose basis on Greek mythology, transposed to modern America. Delivered in monologues that are conversational, breezy, natural and ultimately gutwrenching, bash examines the horrific lengths that human beings go to in order to stay in control of their lives.
In iphigenia in orem a young utah businessman recounts a particularly chilling confession to a stranger in a Las Vegas hotel room. It will be performed by John Morton and directed by myself.
a gaggle of saints sees a young couple document the violent events of a romantic weekend away in New York. It will be performed by Amy Dunne and myself and directed by Annette O’Shea.
In medea redux a young woman tells the ultimately tragic tale about a romance with her high school teacher when she was a teenager. It will be performed by Annette O’Shea and directed by John Morton.
Neil LaBute’s plays include The Shape Of Things, The Mercy Seat, Fat Pig, Wrecks and reasons to be pretty. His film work includes In The Company Of Men, Your Friends And Neighbours, Nurse Betty and Possession.
Neil LaBute’s bash: latterday plays runs in Cleere’s Theatre, Kilkenny from October 17th – 22nd at 8pm nightly. Bookings can be made on 056 – 7762573. Tickets are €12 and are available to buy online now (subject to booking fee).
THE ARTS, with theatre in particular, is quite close to my heart. One of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in years finished recently when I wrapped up a six month artist residency at 76 John Street, Kilkennny with The Devious Theatre Company. The purpose of the residency was to allow the company time to develop, plan, plot, grow professionaly and stage some new work. Three new productions, two festivals and a partridge in a pear tree later, I find myself having kick-started a new blog, Love Arts Culture. This due largely in part to reading anything and everything the arts office has had to offer over the past six months and using the residency as a catalyst to get a focus for a new blog.
Love Arts Culture gives me a home for arts related musings, photographs and theatre coverage, with a spillover of content from DTC and other arts-related projects I’m involved in.
The idea of kenmc.com as a technology blog, for the past 12-18 months, has certainly faded with more of my attention heading towards the arts and groups that I’m involved with both personall and professionally, so parking it all under the one banner makes a lot more sense.
It’s in the infancy stages for the moment but I’ll be giving it some good development time over the next few weeks and we’ll see what comes of it. Whoever says blogging is dead must be having a laugh. As for the content here on kenmc.com, it has certainly changed direction over the past six years or so (or it must be close to six years anyway). This blog itself will be subject to some revision in the coming weeks but for now, you’ll find more of my ramblings over at LoveArtsCulture.com, AnyGivenFood.com and with some photos in the mix, documenting the 29th year, over at 365.kenmc.com.
The fourth theatrical production I’ve worked on (and third that I’ve produced) for this year opens this Sunday night at the Kilkenny Arts Office, 76 John Street Kilkenny. The show opened last week at Solstice in Cork as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival. Here’s the blurb…
Smitten is a play that wants to be a musical.
It marks the third part of Devious Theatre’s ‘In The Future When All’s Well’ residency in Kilkenny Arts Office following on from the success of Scratcher and Shifting. Written by John Morton, it’s a romantic comedy about rain, recession and why dance sequences are harder in real life.
Claire used to be a nurse but then she emigrated. Now she’s returned home from South America with her tail between her legs only to discover that finding her feet on home soil is proving harder than she expected. Especially when everyone else is shaking off their brollies and getting ready to head for greener pastures. As Claire tries to enthuse herself about settling in Ireland, she realises that life is not the Technicolor fantasy that she projected as a teenager and no amount of song or dance is going to help that. If the musicals have taught us one thing, it’s that there’s no place like home. But why does it have to be so black and white?
Smitten opened in Cork on June 16th at Solstice as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival. It then marks the conclusion of Devious Theatre’s Kilkenny Arts Office residency when it plays No. 76 John Street from June 26th – July 2nd.
The cast includes Amy Dunne, Ken McGuire, Kevin Mooney, Lynsey Moran, John Morton, Maria Murray, Suzanne O’Brien, Jack O’Leary, Annette O’Shea and David Thompson. The play is written and directed by John Morton.
Tickets for Kilkenny are €12 can be booked at tickets.devioustheatre.com (tickets booked online carry an additional booking fee), purchased at Kilkenny Arts Office, No. 76 John Street and reserved on 056 – 7794138. For all information please check out DeviousTheatre.com. You can follow progress on the residency at http://no72.wordpress.com.
There’s plenty of teching going on today, tomorrow and Saturday before the curtain goes up on Sunday at 8. Tickets for Sunday night’s opening performance are only €8 and equally can only be called for at the office or collected in person (we’re not selling the Sunday night tickets online). If you want yours, drop down to 76 John Street, Kilkenny (the old Meubles furniture store) any day between now and July 2nd (we’re opening the box office 10am to 6pm daily for the next 10 days or so). Off the back of Scratcher (February) and Shifting (April), I wouldn’t be leaving it too long to get a ticket though, audience will be limited to 70 per night.
The artwork for the latest Devious Theatre production, Smitten (which I’m using both my acting and producing for) has landed in the Dropbox (a vital tool for theatre companies, has to be said) and made its way to the printer this morning.
The poster is the result of a long day of green screen photography with myself and Paddy Dunne and many hours by Paddy following to get the poster to its final draft. Over the next three weeks there’s going to be a torrent of photos, behind the scenes images, promo images, videos and more hitting the local papers, web and the blogs within our own networks.
Smitten marks the third and final performance piece of an artist residency that I’ve been involved in from the beginning of the year, run out of 76 John Street (Kilkenny Arts Office). The works developed in the residency have allowed the theatre company travel to Dublin (Scratcher, February) and Cork (June, Solstice at Cork Midsummer Festival) so I’ll be spending a few days working from Cork in the fortnight. Smitten itself will open in Kilkenny on Sunday June 26th, running for seven nights.
Project 365. 365 Photos. 365-A-Day. Photo-A-Day.
Call it what you like, at this stage, the majority of people know what they are – a collection of photos (at least 365 of them) designed to chronicle a year in the life of something. Some people take a photo of a sunrise a day. Some people take a photo of their face for a year. Me, I’ve just decided to chronicle the gap between 2011 and 2012.
I turned 28 on Tuesday, had a cracking meal with some cracking people and arrived home with a load of photos from the night. But I’m shooting things every day, whether for work, theatre, food or something else. The phone goes with me everywhere and the pocket camera goes with me everywhere (and certainly has the scratches to prove it).
So, inspired by a friend that’s doing something similar since she lost her job earlier in the year, I’ve decided to run a 365 photo blog what happens between birthday 28 and birthday 29. Some days there’ll be one photo, some days a dozen. I know there will be food, technology, festivals, singing, dancing, wedding planning, the US, Canada, sun, snow and more involved. Keeping to it is one thing, but having set the site up as a Tumblog (Tumblr-type blog) with a mobile interface, it shouldn’t be all that hard.
For the past few years, the crew at Young Irish Film Makers have been running Caffeine, a 24-hour international film festival and competition where you get 24 hours to develop, storyboard, cast, shoot, edit and release a short film. The catch being that on the day of the competition, each team is given three items, props or elements that must be included in their short.
The winning short was Run On, above, which was put together by Lukas Hartmann, Joey Harris, Steve O’Connor, Connie Walsh, Roman Hartmann, Liam Dinkelmann, Jamie Stedmond and Eanna Brennan. You can find out more on the festival itself over on Facebook or YIFM.com.