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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.
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.
A question for every member of the cast of our current play Smitten.
Ken McGuire (Dave / Producer)
What was your reaction to the uptake of singing and dancing in this version?
I’m all over it. There wasn’t half enough dancing in Cannibal! (2007) and the last time I danced on stage I wound up getting shot in the head as a result. I learned my lesson. Flash forward four years though and I’m looking forward to it. The dance rehearsals have been good craic and fair play to Gemma for putting up with us for the past few weeks. If you’re able to get over the fact that you’re dancing and prancing around like an eejit, then you’re sorted.
Amy Dunne (Cat)
Considering you’ve done 2 plays as part of the same season. Have you found any similarities with the concerns of your character here and your character in Scratcher?
Similar to Cat, McC was frustrated and wanted to take control of her situation. Cat is alot more reserved in her emotions but still manages to get her point across. McC however is alot more spontaneous in her actions and doesn’t think things through as much. McC would definitely beat Cat in a physical fight but I’d imagine Cat would tear McC to shreds verbally. They’re great ladies really!
John Morton (Writer / Director / Tommy)
So where next for Smitten? A book? The big screen? Another version in three years time with even more dancing and singing?
I’d love to do it again in 3 years but I think it would probably be more beneficial to use the same characters when I’m in my 30’s to talk about my 30’s. I have a screenplay and there has been some interest in it (which is me not trying to jinx it by saying from where) so I think ideally, I’d love to see it being made into a film. But yeah, I’ve been writing those characters since I was 17 and I figure I’ll get a lot more out of them. Whether people want to listen to them or not is another thing entirely.
Kevin Mooney (Niall)
Having directed and produced so many plays for us, were you excited to just be acting this time?
Yes. It’s nice to just worry about your own performance. I haven’t been onstage in quite a while though, so I was a bit nervous about getting back into it and shaking the dust off. But I’m really enjoying concentrating on the acting side of things. It’s been both relieving and terrifying.
Lynsey Moran (Ailbe)
Do you think the play gives an accurate view of Kilkenny? Or just not at all?
This play does show a side to Kilkenny, the side that we see when we’re in our twenties and do not know where our lives are going! Kilkenny is a beautiful place but like every twenty year old, we all need to leave at some point!
David Thompson (Kevin)
You weren’t in Smitten the last time. Seriously, what did you think of it?
I sat with Eddie Brennan who kept making snide remarks about the actors, he thoroughly ruined my theatrical experience. When he wasn’t talking, I really liked it, and all my friends were in it! This Smitten is much better though…
Maria Murray (Bronagh)
How have you found dance rehearsals on this production?
I have this theory that John and Gemma have actually collaborated to dance us all to death. Feeling a pain in places I never knew existed. But it is so much fun but fast, so many fast dances. Thursday mornings were my favourite rehearsals because at least when you were doing something embarrassing everybody else was right there doing it as well.
Annette O’Shea (Claire)
Your character Claire is pretty much the lead in this production. How have you been finding it?
The lead? I think it’s more of an ensemble! I have been finding it… tough I guess. But very exciting and exhilarating, the craic is had everyday. I never take for granted how lucky I am to be working with such a brilliant company and so to be apart of that ensemble is fantastic. I am just out of college going into an uncertain business in an uncertain time so to be blessed with acting work of a professional standard is great. I get to work with amazing actors and an amazing company who have taught me so much. I am currently going through a time of great transition in my own life, like Claire, so I can certainly relate to her situation in a small way. That helps. I am really looking forward to getting onstage and giving Claire a chance to say her piece.
Jack O’Leary (Tony)
So, what’s your favourite musical and why?
Coincidentally enough The Wizard Of Oz because of the very clear literal views on what the characters are, view and want. Its actually quite simplistic and basic story telling but with a unique sugar coating that I’ve never seen before… Also it works really well with Dark Side of The Moon when you’re baked.
Suzanne O’Brien (Daffney Molloy)
You’re being well kept out of all the promotion (apart from this). How does that feel?
Ah sure lookit, it’s grand. It’s fun to be the character who’s doing something a little different to everyone else.
Smitten plays Kilkenny Arts Office from June 26th – July 2nd at 8pm nightly. It marks the final part of their In The Future When All’s Well residency. Tickets can be bought here in the Arts Office or booked on 0861048191. Online bookings can be made at tickets.devioustheatre.com
With one week to go until Shifting opens here in No. 76, rehearsals have really been picking up here. We had a fairly intensive weekend where we did some more work on the set (it’s really starting to look like a sitting room now) and we did a few runs of the play. There was a lot of pulling, tweaking, reblocking, yanking, shouting and dancing being done, but the play is really coming into it’s own. The actor’s are growing in confidence and our crack team of theatre professionals are getting to grips with the technical demands of our house party. We’re confident it’s going to be a good show and will hopefully prove just as popular as the first part of In The Future When All’s Well, Scratcher. Shifting by John Kennedy opens next Monday night at 8pm and runs until April 23rd.
Here’s a look at some of the scenes from the play in action. All photos are by Nathanael McDonald Photography.