Rolling On To Smitten

Smitten

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.

You can get the full lowdown on the show at DeviousTheatre.com and tickets, priced €12 are available from Kilkenny Arts Office, 76 John Street, Kilkenny or online via tickets.devioustheatre.com.

Looking Back At Scratcher, Shifting

THE DEVIOUS Theatre Company (of which I’m a founder) performed Scratcher by John Morton at Project Arts Centre, Dublin, and 76 John Street, Kilkenny, earlier this year as part of the In The Future When All’s Well residency in partnership with Kilkenny Arts Office and Kilkenny County Council.

Arriving at 76 John Street in February, you would be forgiven for thinking you were walking into a social welfare office, such was the setting for the play. Take seven bodies who are sick with the system and the uncertainty of the future, add some guns, explosions, threats, demands and more and you’ve got a fine recipe for social warfare.

The residency work continues at 76 John Street with the staging of Smitten from June 26th – July 2nd. Corkonians are in for a Devious treat as Smitten arrives to the Cork Midsummer Festival as part of Solstice in the old Fás building on Sullivan’s Quay for a one night only performance on June 16th.

For more on the residency, Scratcher, Shifting (the second piece of the residency) and Smitten, check out DeviousTheatre.com.

How To Vote In 5 Easy Steps

In the last promotional piece for Scratcher, currently ongoing at No. 76 John Street in Kilkenny, here’s the cast of the show using their acting to tell you how to vote.

Scratcher commenced it’s theatrical run in Dublin last week at Project Arts Centre as part of The Theatre Machine Turns You On: Vol II and continues this week, until Saturday, at the Kilkenny Arts Office on John Street (old Meubles furniture store). Tickets for the show are €12 and are limited to 70 per night. For more on the background of the show, visit DeviousTheatre.com.

Scratcher is part of the theatrical residency In The Future When All’s Well, running at Kilkenny Arts Office until the end of June this year.

Devious Theatre & Dario Fo

FROM LAST September to March gone, I spent seven months producing (and acting in) two major productions with The Devious Theatre Company. We embarked on the mission of a Dario Fo season. Not content with doing just one show, we sprang for two and almost went for a third two months ago. Of all of our productions to date, Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! will stand out for a long time to come.

Whereby with previous shows we’ve released clips of various scenes, the Mycrofilms crew have put together a mashup of both productions in around six minutes or so to give you a flavour of what took place in the Set Theatre in Kilkenny in December 2009 and March 2010.

The good news for theatre folk is that we may be back sooner than you thought. After all, it wouldn’t be a summer in Kilkenny without some kind of Devious activity…

Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! Artwork

Can't Pay? Won't Pay!

SURROUNDING YOURSELF with fantastic creatives (i.e. incredibly creative people) can be great for your health. It can be great for your sanity. It can inspire all kinds of creative thoughts of your own, bring ideas to life and much more. Of course, if you’re like me, it can leave you with a cap, a white face, a pencil moustache, incredibly large sideburns, a pink check shirt, electric green overalls and outrageous accents.

But in fairness, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

One of those creatives is fellow deviant, Paddy Dunne, who has produced the latest masterpiece. For the last few stage productions for Devious Theatre, myself, Paddy and John (Morton) have worked the angles and cameras coming up with funky setups and promotional imagery for the likes of Stags and Hens, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, and next month’s production of Dario Fo’s Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! The phrase “I’ll just photoshop it in” took on a life of its own many moons ago, but “photoshop it in” he’s done and he’s created this gem.

Of course, we won’t mention his PPAI Designer of the Year nomination last year but you’ll find reference to it in the programme if you make it along to the show.

Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! opens in Set Theatre, Kilkenny, on Wednesday March 10th and runs to Sunday March 14th. Tickets, priced €13 are available from our online sales area. The early bird tickets (which were available at €10) have been snapped up but we’ve got plenty to go around. From March we’ll be taking a break from the stage for a few months, directing our theatrical sights into other areas online and off and this latest production brings a close to our Dario Fo season so we urge you to come out, you won’t be disappointed.

For more on the show, check DeviousTheatre.com.

Beaten Up For My Love Of The Arts

Ken McGuire plays the Superintendent

If you believe the above photo, I’ve been beaten up for my love of the arts. Or more for the honour of performing with the DTC actors again in our production of Accidental Death Of An Anarchist which opens next Wednesday night in the new Set Theatre on John Street, Kilkenny.

We’re (as in The Devious Theatre Company) taking our next production to the new 252-seater space for a five night run commencing Wednesday December 2nd and wrapping Sunday December 6th.

Written in 1970, Accidental Death Of An Anarchist was inspired by events that took place in Italy in 1969 when an anarchist, Giuseppe Pinelli fell – or was thrown – from the fourth floor window of a Milan police station. He had been accused of a campaign of bombing, of which he was later found innocent. The resultant scandal uncovered a system rife with corruption and intensified public rage at the government. Intensification of public rage is something that Dario Fo is a master of with his work challenging church, government and the authorities in Italy for over 50 years.

Accidental Death Of An Anarchist takes place as an enquiry into the anarchist’s death is causing the policemen involved to have some difficulties remembering the details of the event. That is, until a nameless deranged madman shows up and proceeds to tie the authorities around his fingers in a master class performance of utter logic. The cast includes Alan Butler, Sean Hackett, Simone Kelly, myself, John Morton and David Thompson playing the famed role of the shape shifting Madman. Having previously donned the director’s hat for Trainspotting (2008), John finds himself wearing it again for this production (and also the followup with Fo’s Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! next spring)

As is usually the case with adaptations of Dario Fo, this production will look at the events of the play through the prism of modern Ireland and the corruption and scandals inherent in our own political systems. Employing the comedic methods of commedia dell’arte and slapstick as used by Dario Fo, Accidental Death Of An Anarchist is an uproariously funny farce which rallies against political injustice and corruption.

To mark the occasion of the opening of the new show I’ve got two tickets sitting here on my desk that I would like someone to have. They’re for the opening night of the show on Wednesday coming and if you would like a chance at winning the tickets, leave a comment and tell me which Italian playwright penned Accidental Death Of An Anarchist. We’ll leave things run until tomorrow evening perhaps, say 5pm tomorrow (Friday) to try get a winner.

The show itself runs nightly at 8pm, doors open 7:30pm, we’ve priced tickets at €12 for some very affordable theatre and they can also be bought from Langtons on John Street, Rollercoaster Records on Kieran Street (Kilkenny) and online via DeviousTheatre.com.

Stags And Hens Trailer

More video for you this week (with more likely to come at the weekend). This time it’s the trailer we’ve just release for Stags And Hens, taking place at the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny from Tuesday July 21st to Saturday July 25th. Next week we’re going to start giving away a few tickets for the show as well so if you want to be in with a chance of winning, you best get to following @devioustheatre on Twitter. Facebook ads kick in this week, more character promo posters get released, more mentions in the press, it’s full steam ahead.

The first of our video diaries went live earlier in the week as well, you can check it out here or keep an eye on DeviousTheatre.com for all the developments on the show.

A Peek Into Stags & Hens

The above was cut together last night for The Devious Theatre Company, the group (of which I’m involved in running) currently up to their neck in rehearsals for Stags & Hens at the Watergate Theatre, opening on July 21st. The video and audio were captured on a Sony HDR-SR10 with 5.1 audio, all shots captured last Thursday night (July 2nd) and woven together in Final Cut Express on the Mac. Title screens and name overlays added as PNGs to the process. Music underscoring the piece is a recorded instrumental version of Superstition by Stevie Wonder. Running time is just under three minutes.

We’ve also cut together a nice teaser trailer which will hit the web this week, thanks to Alan Slattery at Mycrofilms.

You can find out more about Devious Theatre by visiting DeviousTheatre.com. We’ve got a few more of these diaries to release over the next two weeks and when I’ve got more, you’ll have more.

If you’re in Kilkenny this weekend, join us for a Devious Theatre 70s night party and fundraiser (fundraiser being there will be buckets doing the rounds if anyone wanted to make a contribution to the theatrical cause). We’re taking over Cleere’s in Kilkenny, the entire place, adding some serious 70s music, fancy dress, food, disco ball, the lot. Kick-off is 9pm.

The C Word

One of my alter egos is involved in the running of The Devious Theatre Company in Kilkenny. We write new works, produce and direct in house, run a great rotation system on all of our productions since our launch in 2006 and this weekend we’re getting set to announce the first part of our 2009 program of theatre.

When things go right, they go very right. When things go wrong, they’re usually followed by “the C word”. At least that used to be the case. The word has lost all meaning and is now a total Devious Theatre term of affection.

We’ve been plugging a string of videos from a production of Trainspotting we did last year (one of three productions of 2008) over on DeviousTheatre.com and we’ve just released the final video aka The Cunt Cut.

Needless to say, it was a very popular word in Trainspotting… can you count how many are there?