One Hell Of A Bash

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).

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.

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?

The War Of The Worlds Airs Tonight

The War Of The Worlds

The last few weeks have shot by in nothing but a blur. Work life is changing and evolving, music is moving, I’ve been involved in another festival, thrown a bunch of gigs and managed to pull off my third theatre production of the year, again donning one of the producer hats available from The Devious Theatre Company’s hat box.

It all comes down to tonight.

The Devious Theatre Company (of which I’m involved in running and have been since May 2006) proudly present our own version of H.G. Wells’ classic ‘The War Of The Worlds’, airing tonight on KCLR96FM. You can pick up KCLR in Carlow, Kilkenny, south Kilkenny and areas of Waterford and surrounding counties. If you’re well outside the range or would like to listen in from foreign soil, you can do so by hitting the station’s website on KCLR96FM.com.

Fitting it should fall on the 70th anniversary of the original broadcast by Orson Welles, October 30th 1938.

We’ve been working on the show solid for the past 2-3 weeks with many a late night had in the recording studio (including this Tuesday gone) in the buildup to handing over the finished production to the station yesterday.

As a company we’ve built up a nice reputation in Kilkenny. War Of The Worlds marks our fifth production (fifth new production as we brought one show back for two further runs in 2006 and 2007) and our first foray into the world of theatre for radio. We’ve concentrated so much on the visual – sets, costumes, lighting, makeup, props, the venue, our advertising, promotional photos, posters but this show turns it on it’s head.

The Bigger Picture

Taking a step back to look at the bigger picture, I have to hand it to the lads, and ourselves as a company. We’ve come through two tough productions with Trainspotting (June 2008), Smitten (August 2008) and with little or no break we ran straight into The War Of The Worlds, writing an entirely new script, casting, scheduling, sourcing sound effects and learning to concentrate on everything you don’t see. It’s one thing producing a piece of work for an audience who will sit and watch you, but another thing altogether in producing a piece of work for an audience you want to sit and listen to you.

But everyone pulled it together, that’s what we do when we’re working as a proper functioning theme. You’re an actor, but you’re also the producer, the director, the driver, the one that goes for food, the one that remembers to bring biscuits and tea, the one that stays up all night mixing – we’re all of those. So while it’s a brilliant move for the company, it’s a brilliant show of teamwork as everyone had a part to play and everyone played it so well.

Not only that, but they managed to wrap it into a neat bundle that airs tonight around 9:03pm and runs for 53 minutes and 57 seconds. And we did it all without any external technical support. We were offered the use of the radio station for production but we opted to carry the can ourselves knowing we’ve got the ability to pull it off.

I’ve held back from listening to the finished version (we’re having a listening party tonight) though initial feedback from the station calls the show “absolutely fantastic”. Fingers crossed.

I’ll be on the radio later this morning (just after the 11am news) talking about the show. You can listen in live via KCLR96FM.com.

To those of you who are listening in tonight, thank you very much. From myself and all at The Devious Theatre Company I really do hope you enjoy the efforts of the group as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it. If it all goes well then maybe we’ll gun for another one next year. Our thanks too go out to all at KCLR for their support and in giving us the opportunity and airtime to develop another original production.

For those of you who can’t listen in tonight then don’t despair, we’ve something nice in store for you too.