Community Theatre: Saving The House of Delmege, tomorrow night/Sat 11 July

Moyross sign

The Hollywood-esque sign announcing the Moyross was entering the community theatre scene last year!

After the success of community theatre project, Moyross, last year, a new community theatre group was set up in the north side area. Now, the budding actors and actresses in Moyross Community Drama are preparing  for their exciting debut production—Saving The House of Delmege—tomorrow evening (Friday 10 July).

The venue is the Hunt Museum and the plot is as follows: “Faced with mounting debts from her late, philandering husband’s ancestral home, Lady Constance Delmege desperately wants her only daughter to marry into money – even if it means marrying Norbert, the foppish son of the ‘new money’, neighbouring Caulfield estate.  What unfolds is a story filled with twists and turns, trickery, promiscuity, social climbers, an Italian count and a sulky!”

This comedy costume drama, set in Limerick the early 1900s, will feature a cast of Carrie Barrett, Lucia Brunetti, Majella Conway, Ursula Dundon, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Philip Hackett, Ger Purcell, Leanne O’Donnell and Conchi Ortiz.

During Limerick City of Culture 2014, many Moyross residents took part in workshops with Dublin-based, Theatre Club for Moyross and also with playwright, Mike Finn, and writer, Helena Close. In September 2014, Moyross Residents’ Forum invited to begin a weekly drama workshop.  Since that time, a group of 11 regular members, and as many occasional workshop participants, have attended the weekly workshop in Corpus Christi School.  The result of all of these workshops is a new devised piece of drama, Saving the House of Delmege.

According to drama facilitator, Monica Spencer, “the cast of the new work are new to this style of performance although Sheila Fitzpatrick-O’Donnell, Lucia Brunetti and Phillip Hackett are regular readers of their own poetry in the White House on Wednesday nights.  Sheila, along with Majella Conway and Ursula Dundon also performed in Moyross, the play.  All cast members are incredibly enthusiastic about the project and each one is delivering performances in rehearsal that belie their level of experience”.

Saving the House of Delmege is on at 7pm tomorrow and there will also be a show on Saturday 11 July at 3pm. Further performances will take place in Moyross in September/October with details of dates and venue to be announced.

Tickets are €5 and booking is recommended because audience numbers are limited to 50. Booking on moyrossdrama@gmail.com or 087-6047262.

This is one of the many community based drama initiatives taking place in Limerick at the moment.  It has support from The GAFF as well as from PAUL Partnership, Limerick City and County Arts Office and from LCETB.

 

A chance to support Dear Mr. Le Bon

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 19.23.06A friend of mine drew my attention to an interesting publishing project, which music fans may want to contribute to through crowd-funding.

Dear Mr. Le Bon is a proposed book made up of “letters to pop stars regarding their work from a retired member of the public with genuine replies from the artists themselves”. If this is something you’d like to read, you can support their efforts at the Kickstarter link here.

Derek Philpott and Wilf Turnbull, from Bournemouth in the UK, wrote to numerous musicians with friendly enquiries about their work.

The two lads had this to say: “Hello Everyone! We are both pensioners living in Bournemouth who write to popstars about their song lyrics, and they often reply. We also have animations on youtube which are very popular. It’s great to see popstars taking an interest in us ordinary members of the public! And, if you are in any doubt, please be reassured that all replies are totally genuine and are directly from the desks of the bona fide artistes themselves!”

There are a lot of artists involved, from Survivor to Slade, Edwyn Collins to Kaiser Chiefs.

The artists and the media have positive things to say about it, such as:

“It was most enjoyable to be involved in a letter that did not involve one of my ex wives’ solicitors” – Rick Wakeman

”Somewhere between Henry Root and John Shuttleworth – what a hoot!” Julie Burchill

”Now we have Wilf and Derek, two Bournemouth OAPS who write to pop stars old and new, taking them to task for their absurd lyrics. Follow their adventures” Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard

”Good luck, the both of you x” David Quantick

”Thanks for the brilliant work and for allowing me fence with such a formidable comic swordsman. Count me in for whatever helps the Grand Cause!!” Dave Was, Was Not Was

I love the feel of your jibe…Whatever you do will be creative and great. Hope I can help”..Chris Difford, Squeeze

This project will only be funded if at least £16,000 is pledged by Sunday, 3 May. Good luck to the chaps!

Review: Chalk at Dance Limerick & Upcoming events

dance_limk_theo_clinkard_picI haven’t been going to see too many theatrical or dance performances so far this year, which is unusual for me so I was delighted to be invited to go to Chalk at Dance Limerick last Tuesday.

A piece devised and performed by dancer/choreographer, Theo Clinkard, accompanied by a live score by James Keane, it was inspired by the iconic chalk cliffs of the south coast of England and in tune with the blurb, it was indeed an “inventive and intensely physical work”.

A quote in the description by Clinkard read: “I recently found out that the reason that chalk is white is because it is formed out of the minute skeletons of marine life, compressed over billions of years…You could essentially say it’s made of bone”.

This fascinating idea and its seaside, windswept setting was explored in various ways through dance, with atmospheric music (a lot of loop tracks) and sound effects recorded live with everything from trombones to stones. With every recording unique to the venue and performance, there is a certain unpredictability and that adds to the energy.

A particularly interesting sequence was when Keane recorded celery being broken up only for Clinkard to don a black Lycra suit with a skeleton on it and then move to the soundtrack of those sounds. It played on the idea of the microscopic skeletons being bashed around and also the tragic reality that death is ever present here. People regularly commit suicide by jumping off the cliffs and there are accounts dating back through the ages. He brought it right into the present by reading the most recent report by a local group, which patrols the cliffs aiming to help people in distress.

The ‘set’ was just a white diamond shaped area on the floor, which allowed for the space to be used to its full potential. The windows were not blacked out and the failing light of sunset added a nice ambiance to it. Any props were used creatively i.e. the tiny plasticine figure put onto an upright white trestle table to give an idea of scale. He also interacted with the audience by relaying information to people to relay along Chinese whisper-style. The show had a careful balance of seriousness and playfulness.

Everything flowed nicely and even the abstract elements weren’t indecipherable because there was a context and setting—evoked very well by the choreography and the production design. It was a thought provoking and enjoyable show.

For anyone interested you can watch a video promo of Chalk below…

CHALK from Roswitha Chesher on Vimeo.

The next show in Dance Limerick is Moving On by Spoken Dance, which is on this Thursday (23 April) at 8pm and on Friday (24 April) at 11am (tickets €12/10; group discounts available).

This is an evening of contemporary dance, film and performance, Moving On offers the audience an insight into the exciting, new and ambitious work of Limerick’s

integrated dance company.

“Following a period of examination and reflection into the medium of dance film, Spoken Dance will present live dance performance along with five short dance films which have been produced, directed and edited in collaboration with Limerick based disabled and non-disabled artists…Moving on uses film, movement and text to investigate choices around whether we allow our responses to define us or not.”

Two of the films represent the poetry of the Thursday Club of Enable Ireland, Mungret. One of the films was created by disabled dancer Danny Aherne as part of a research project where he was mentored by Mary Wycherley from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. The two other films feature very different duets between a disabled and non-disabled dancer.

The short film, A Sense of Pleasure, which features disabled dancers Mary Keogh and Deirdre Corry of Spoken Dance has been nominated for two awards at Limerick Film Festival. Another dancer, Antoin Cross, has been nominated for Best Factual Feature at Limerick Film Festival for This Integration– a documentary featuring Spoken Dance.

Spoken Dance recently launched integrated dance classes at Dance Limerick which are open to disabled and non-disabled participants. It is a professional company of disabled and non-disabled dancers led by Lisa Cahill and Mary Hartney. Spoken Dance has been creating and performing new, original contemporary dance works since 2011.

On the 30th April—the collaborative dance project, Sum of Parts, is on in the venue. This will see the culmination of a collaboration of Megan Kennedy, Limerick’s Dance Artist-in-Residence co-ordinating with 10 professional dance artists based in Limerick.

For more information on Dance Limerick and events there, see www.dancelimerick.ie.

Luke Murphy to premier new work in Dance Limerick this Thursday

luke_murphy_4_webWith the New Year comes a new programme for Dance Limerick. US based dancer and choreographer, Luke Murphy, will premiere his exciting new work Your Own Man/Mad Notions at the Dance Limerick base this Thursday, February 26 at 8pm.

“Originally from Cork, now based in New York, Luke Murphy fuses storytelling, rich imagery and dynamic movement in Your Own Man/Mad Notions to create a personal essay on the nature of leaving, returning and searching for home.  In this intimate and personal work, Murphy scales down and examines his opinions, his insecurities and his ambitions.”

“This new piece of dance theatre reveals the quiet story of a man from Cork outside of Cork, a dancer from Ireland away from Ireland and the difficulties of maintaining a long distance relationship with one’s cultural identity.  Both fragile and blunt, this multi-disciplinary work examines the satisfaction of following your own path and the fear of losing that small thread in the labyrinth that will lead you home.”

Announcing details of the show, Jenny Traynor, Director of Dance Limerick, said: “We’re very excited that Luke has chosen to premiere his thoughtful, beautiful new work at Dance Limerick.  Luke completed a residency with us last October, which enabled him to immerse himself in developing this new piece.  In a sense, now, the work is coming full circle, being performed to an audience for the first time back here.  I can’t wait to see it and I would heartily encourage anyone with an interest in dance, dance theatre or even just in trying something different to come along.  You won’t be disappointed!”

Luke Murphy’s is a performer and choreographer based between New York City and Ireland.  His own work has been presented in New York, throughout Ireland and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His first full length work, Drenched, premiered at the Absolut Fringe Festival in 2012 and toured the US, while in June 2013 he premiered his second work, Icarus, as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.

His work has been supported through commissions and residencies from a wide range of arts organisations including the Arts Council, Culture Ireland, Dance Ireland and Dance Limerick.  He trained at the Legat School in East Sussex and Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Luke’s work has been variously described as “passionate”, “fearless” and “mesmerising”, appealing “to anyone who appreciates beautiful movement and dance theatre”.

Tickets are €12/€10 (conc.).  Further information and booking details are available from www.dancelimerick.ie.

Chaplet of Roses at Dance Limerick tomorrow (Thurs Dec 18)

Photo credit: Alina O’Shaughnessy

Photo credit: Alina O’Shaughnessy

Chaplet of Roses, a new work by locally-based choreographer/ dancer, Angie Smalis, and performance artist, Colin Gee, will premiere tomorrow (Thursday December 18) at Dance Limerick (St John’s Church, John’s Square) at 8pm.

“Inspired by the 15th century tapestry Honor Making a Chaplet of Roses, this beautiful new dance work is a contemporary interpretation of an allegory of courtly love depicted in the artwork…The tapestry was created circa 1410 in The Netherlands and was itself inspired by romances of the 12th and 14th centuries. It is now held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Four characters are depicted in the work: one is making a crown of roses with the caption ‘I am Honor who makes chaplets for my children’; a second says ‘To please my friend better, I shall put on this pretty hat’; an inscription above the third identifies him as ‘Pleasure’ while the fourth has the caption ‘Homage to my good lady, my protectress’.”

Colin Gee and Angie Smalis are developing this work while in residence at Dance Limerick this month. The duo first met during a Mediated Bodies workshop in Ireland in 2006, which explored the interaction of dance, choreography and media technologies, and made a video together in 2009.  Chaplet of Roses is a natural progression of this interest, offering a perspective of the work through an online video, in addition to the live performance.

Photo credit: Alina O’Shaughnessy

Photo credit: Alina O’Shaughnessy

Reflecting on the work, Colin Gee said: “This project seeks to explore a contemporary interpretation of a courtly love allegory as a notion of individual and community morality…Our interest centres on how honour is linked to community and moral accountability through the consideration of multiple perspectives: the viewer’s and those of the figures depicted in the tapestry”.

Angie Smalis added: “This is a really interesting process, exploring the characters in this beautiful artwork, what they represent and how they relate to each other. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with Colin on this and I love the idea of creating the different perspectives of the work through the film and the live performance. It will be quite different, so I really hope lots of people will come to see what it’s all about!”
Tickets are €12/€10.  For further information and booking, see www.dancelimerick.ie. Chaplet of Roses is funded by the Arts Council through the Dance Project Award and supported by Dance Limerick.

I want to give a special mention to Dance Limerick for the team’s great work since its formation. It has brought much needed life to its base as a venue over the past year—hosting a broad range of events—as well as acting as a resource organisation for professional dance in Limerick and beyond. Dance Limerick hosts performances, talks, classes, workshops, projects and residencies and provides opportunities for dance to be created, experienced and discussed in many ways, by all ages.  For further details, see www.dancelimerick.ie.