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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!
The following review appears in the current edition (July 8th 2011) of The Munster Express, penned by Liam Murphy who was in attendance at the Monday performance of Smitten. We would like to thank Liam and The Munster Express for taking the time out to travel to Kilkenny for each of Scratcher, Shifting and Smitten as part of our residency here at No. 76 and carrying words like these in the papers. The online world can only get you so far and we’re absolutely aware of and thankful for the support of traditional and broadcast media throughout the residency and the past five years of The Devious Theatre Company.
The excellent Devious Theatre Company completed their residency with Kilkenny Arts Office with an updating of another John Morton play – Smitten – a Kilkenny love story, a play that wants to be a musical. As ever there is a newness, a freshness, an in-your faceness about Devious that does not have a Waterford equivalent – mores the pity. They seem to assemble excellent casts, time after time and convert spaces into site-specific performance places.
Smitten is a contemporary love story, as evocative as the movie Love Actually and as episodic. But by introducing a song and dance approach you got a trivialisation that is the staple of moon and June, Singing In The Rain type shows.
In Act I the stage changes to song and dance mixed with sketch type Fast Show routines diluted the contemporary mes- sage and even the bad guys and girls were beneath it all, good people – In The Future When All’s Well.
However, in Act II a more edgy darker story emerged but drunks were good drunks addicts didn’t OD and people agreed to begin again, give it another go, another lash as it were. Once again, the individual work of the ten person cast was impressive.
Director and writer John Morton played a pivotal role as easy-going tattoos Tommy but maybe this was a dance too far. Amy Dunne was a wonderful contradiction as the librarian who swore a lot. Ken McGuire was Dave the unemployed, remorseful drunk and he made the most of his appearances. David Thompson becomes characters and I loved his emigrating carpenter whose hands were always in bandages. He was the accident that kept on happening. Suzanne O’Brien was luminous as the ditsy Daffney Molloy was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz but there was no Yellow Brick Road in Kilkenny. However, it was Annette O’Shea as Clare the nurse who went and came back that brought a quality to an amazing place. I felt the standing ovation was particularly for her and a theatre company who make new theatre, obviously.
As we hit the sixth night of Smitten – the longest run of a production I’ve ever been involved in on stage (well, Shifting was a six night straight run but I had the pleasure of teching the show instead) – we’re issuing a final call for tickets. Here’s the lowdown.
We opened to a house of near 60 on Sunday night, and similar again on Monday night. Since Tuesday, we’ve been operating at capacity (of which is 70) though with some slight rearrangement of the seating across Wednesday and Thursday, we’ve been able to add a few more seats to the Arts Office, bringing us closer to 80.
The box office only has 70 tickets available per night. The online sales are capped at 10 per night (we’re still in the infancy of the online ticket management side of things). So, if you do your maths you’ll see that 70 + 10 = 80. We’ve suspended the online ticket sales for the show as we’ve hit the cap on Friday night (tonight) and Saturday night (the closing night). We’ve also hit the cap at the box office for tonight (Friday), so, here’s what we’re doing.
- You call to the box office for a ticket for tonight / tomorrow night.
- If we’re out of tickets, you’ll get added to a waiting list or advised of the returns queue.
- Across the day we’re ringing everyone who has a reserved ticket but has not yet collected the ticket. Reserved tickets need to be collected 24 hours before the performance or they can be resold.
- If someone tells us they can’t go, or they haven’t collected their ticket by 7:50, those tickets will be released to the returns queue on a first come, first served basis.
- With doors opening at 7:30pm and seating from 7:40pm, if you wish to get in line for the returns for the show, we advise you to be there at 7:30pm.
- Also, while we’ll be locking the doors by 8:05pm at the latest and latecomers will not be admitted until the interval, and only if they are valid ticket holders.
So to the near 300 people or so who have seen Smitten in Kilkenny already this week, we really hope that you’ve enjoyed the show. If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet and want in on the action, you’ll have to move quickly! Once the show finishes on Saturday, so too does our residency here at No. 76. For those of you who have tickets for tonight’s show, we’ll see you from 7:30pm and if you need any more persuading, check out this review from The Kilkenny Reporter.
The day has arrived. D-day. Or S-day, depending on how you look at it. In just under 8 hours time we’ll be kicking off Smitten, the latest and final installment of our In The Future When All’s Well theatrical residency here at No. 76.
The seats are in, the venue has been dressed, the lights are hung, the stage is set, there’s all kinds of cables running to all kinds of places but most importantly, Smitten is ready to go for Kilkenny audiences.
It’s already ten days since we performed Smitten at Solstice as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival and ten days on we’ve added a scene or two, a light or two, and installed the show quite comfortably back into what’s been our home for the past six months.
On the show itself, it’s well worth noting that it does contain strong language and sexual references throughout. We’re advising a minimum age of 16, with parental discretion advised. Doors will open at 7:30pm, seating can be filled from 7:40pm and the show will commence at 8:00pm. Due to the nature of the show and venues, latecomers will not be admitted until a suitable break in the performance (interval). There will be one interval of 10 minutes maximum for folk to stretch legs, grab a breath of fresh air with smoking permitted outside the building only.
Tonight marks the first of a seven night run for the show, building on Scratcher (five nights) and Shifting (six nights) in order to facilitate demand for the work produced over the course of the residency. Our thanks to everyone who’s made the opening night possible, especially Mary and Niamh here at No. 76, Maeve Butler (Cillin Hill, seating), Vincent Dempsey and all at Barnstorm Theatre (Rostrum for tiered seating) and of course, you. Without you, we wouldn’t be doing the work we do.
A limited amount of tickets priced just €8 are available for tonight’s show, booking on 086 1048191 or in person at the Arts Office until 6pm and pre-show from 7:30pm. We hope you’ll be entertained!
Smitten performs June 26 – July 2 here at No. 76 John Street. Buy your tickets online, reserve via mobile on 086 1048191 or 056 7794138 (office hours). The box office is open 10am – 6pm daily with tickets for the week priced just €12. For more, visit DeviousTheatre.com.
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.