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After 6 months, 3 shows, nearly 50 cast and crew, over 1,000 audience members and endless cups of tea, we at Devious Theatre have completed our residency in Kilkenny Arts Office.

It’s been an amazing, fantastic and hugely enjoyable ride and we’ve loved every second of it. It has really helped push us as a company and given us a platform from which we can engage with the next few years of our work.

The get out of No. 76 was a tough mistress and we were very sad to be packing, painting and rebuilding. But it was made all the sweeter by the news that we’ve acquired our own fulltime base in The Maltings off James Street. So we won’t be returning to our old homeless, guerrilla ways!

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mary Butler, Niamh Finn and Kilkenny Co. Council for all the amazing support and opportunities that they’ve given us over not just the last 6 months but the past few years. We couldn’t have done this without ye.

To the future, when all is well!

Here’s a look at another of the shows from our In The Future When All’s Well residency here in No.76. This shows one of the more popular scenes from Shifting by John Kennedy wherein the characters at the party take part in a little bit of late night Bohemian Rhapsody. Par for the course at most parties isn’t it? If you missed the show, it gives a good indication of the set for the play and how we changed the formation from Scratcher.

Shifting played April 18th – 23rd this year in Kilkenny Arts Office.

Smitten wrapped on Saturday night to a packed house and a standing ovation, the last performance as part of In The Future When All’s Well here in the Arts Office.

The show had a fantastic run and it definitely completed the season exactly as we had wanted it to. The reactions were fantastic and the box office for the show was a more than healthy one.

We’re currently trying to restore the Arts Office to normal after 7 nights of performances and nearly 500 people passing through the building… so yeah, it’s going to take us a while. Bear with us!

In the meantime, we would like to thank all our cast, crew and all of our audiences and supporters who made Smitten what it was. Thank you all so much.

And an extra special thanks to Mary and Niamh for all their help and support on the show!

By Darragh Byrne

From the June 29th edition of The Kilkenny Reporter

The trilogy of plays which have kept audiences in Kilkenny entertained finally comes to an end this week in the Arts Office with the last of the series, Smitten. Devious Theatre have used social media, clever marketing and brilliant design like no other group in the country to draw people into their crazy world.

It surely lives up to the hype – a pitch perfect blend of humour and pathos. Not one beat of this play fails to get a laugh or raise an emotion. It is an ensemble piece about a group of friends in their twenties whose love life it depicts in all the shades from technicolour to grey. This play is about the gap between our fantasies and the harshness of reality. The whole thing was like a beautiful dream which suddenly wakes you up to the horror of mundane life in Kilkenny. The main character returns from abroad to try to make amends for dumping her boyfriend by helping out other people’s doomed affairs.

The sense of place is very profound in the writing with names of streets and rituals raising a laugh of recognition. This work resonates beyond the colloquial though by finding truths in love affairs that everyone can understand. There are many techniques used to break it out to the audience and it never bores for an instant. This is Devious Theatre’s most straight forward and yet most manic piece, shifting gears constantly but never letting up for a second.

The use of the musical numbers is very clever. For anyone who groans at the way a Hollywood movie breaks out into song and everyone starts dancing, this will provide a cure. Too often we cynically dismiss these films whose romance and innocence hold a lot of emotion for our childhood selves. There is jazz hands but this is definitely a musical for people who hate musicals. A great big helping of filthy wit is at hand to contrast with the spectacle of umbrellas twirling and hoofing thesps.

The performances are as always uniformly superb. The two leads Annette O’Shea and Dave Thompson prove themselves to be the two finest actors to emerge recently from Kilkenny and it seems only a matter of time before casting agents come calling from the big time. Jack O’Leary and Amy Dunne are both hilarious as an odd couple who can’t stay away from each other. Ken McGuire and Maria Murray are really believable as the pair dealing with pregnancy, with the finest example of drunk acting I have ever seen on stage. John Morton equips himself well as the nice guy with a dark past and Suzanne O’Brien is just right for the girl lost in musicals. Even the stock characters played by Kevin Mooney and Lynsey Moran are made real by two lovely comic performances.

It is really sad for fans of great theatre that this residency is over. Everybody in the local arts office must be applauded for their vision in helping to make this the cultural event of the year in Kilkenny. If you don’t have a ticket for this play go and get one straight away. People will be teasing you for years to come that you missed it. The most important play and funniest night out you will ever experience in this city. You will leave it singing and dancing with a huge rush of joy to your heart. Theatrical Prozac!

Photos by Nathanael McDonald.

We’ve been working overtime on turning No. 76 into Kilkenny’s nicest, prettiest black box theatre space over the past few days and we’re nearly there!

It’s been a tough few days building, drilling, plotting, lifting, staging, teching, lighting, tea drinking, dancing, dressing, painting and theatre making but we’re on schedule to open Smitten tomorrow night with a bang.

The logistics of lighting the building have been completely different as we don’t have the natural darkness that Scratcher gave us in February or the real time light transition afforded to us in Shifting. Here, we need to block out all light and make a theatre.

And for the first time we’ve really made a go of turning the Arts Office into an actual theatre space. A lot of black paint has been used up, a lot of black curtains have been drilled in and 3 backstage areas have been put into place. And as for the set… well, it looks pretty theatrical.

But I guess theatre is the name on the tin, right?

Come see what we’ve done with the place when Smitten opens at 8pm tomorrow night in the Arts Office! The discounted opening night tickets at €8 are still available here. Bookings can currently be made on 0861048191.

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Art at No. 76

The aim and focus of the Art Residency at No. 76 is to enable the successful applicant to research and develop their practice. Other aims of the residency are to: give insights into how and why artists create their work, build relationships and further promote the Arts, provide an awareness and further appreciation of the Arts, cultivate and develop new audiences. The Kilkenny Arts Office is part of

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January 2021