Stars align for the return of Cork theatre!

In her weekly column, Theatre Nights, Jo Kerrigan tells us about some upcoming shows
Stars align for the return of Cork theatre!

 Kate Tompkins in Anne Frank: Lockedin, filmed by students of the Youth Theatre. 

THE ground-breaking (skybreaking?) show, Notes To A Star, presented by Gaitcrash Theatre in conjunction with Blackrock Castle Observatory over the holiday weekend, was a huge success — so much so that it is scheduled for a repeat on July 2 and 3, when those who were unsuccessful in obtaining tickets might have better luck (booking on bco.ie).

Deviser Regina Crowley is currently preparing for her performance of Prometheus Now, coming up at Cork Midsummer Festival, which runs from Monday next week to June 27. Is it that time already?

Wonder how many swift changes they are making to the programme to reflect the relaxation on live audiences? Better check out their website — corkmidsummer.com. We, of course, will keep you posted along the way.

Actor Jack Healy has found the lockdown a strange experience.

“It was a game-changer in attitudes and the way you work,” he admits, “The first lockdown I had just finished giving acting classes at UCC, so it was more of a holiday really. 

"Later in the year, I started doing an acting class online for UCC extra-mural classes and amazingly that worked quite well, although it was a bit weird, because I do a lot of voice work, and that doesn’t happen so well over Zoom.

“But I managed. We all managed. 

"To tell you the truth, I was amazed at how Ireland got ahead. People were so up for this.”

He is looking forward to participating in Luzern: A Folk Tale of Memory which will be created at Clonmel Junction Festival in July.

 “It’s an Asylum Theatre script development which will, over three days, become a play. I can’t wait!”

The audience at Blackrock Castle Observatory for Notes To A Star
The audience at Blackrock Castle Observatory for Notes To A Star

Another who can’t wait for live audiences and actors is playwright Ger Fitzgibbon.

“Actors are hungry to perform before live audiences; audiences are hungry to see live performance,” says Ger.

“The stop-gap measures (live streaming, etc) were interesting; everyone engaged with them because it was doing something rather than nothing; some of them were outstanding, but they weren’t the real thing.”

Theatres need to come out fighting, he insists, “on behalf of the actors, directors, designers, writers who have kept faith with them and with the art form during the last year and a half; but also fighting to rebuild their audiences, bring them into the building again, remind them of the richness of that experience of sharing a live event”.

Ger adds: “There is plenty available, so lack of product is not any excuse. Put on the show, and they will come!”

As they doubtless will to Sounds from a Safe Harbour, which opens tomorrow. A particularly delightful experience is offered by A City and a Garden. From Friday to the following Sunday week, use your smartphone to reveal hidden narratives and soundscapes all around our beloved city.

Follow a story by Louise Hegarty that takes you from the North Mall to Bells Field, or walk with Lisa McInerney from The Shakey Bridge to Red Abbey Square, and discover things you never knew. Visual installations by artist Deirdre Breen along each route too. More on https://everymancork.com/

Irene Kelleher’s award-winning Mary And Me is currently being presented by Everyman in on-demand video streaming, until Sunday next, June 13. The tale of a teenage girl and her conversations with a statue at a grotto, it’s a rich evocation of Ireland in the 1980s. Booking on everymancork.com.

Peadar Donohue of MTU Cork School of Music has just announced the release of Anne Frank: Lockedin, filmed by students of the Youth Theatre during the lockdown. Classes and rehearsals took place online, with participants recording their scenes via computers and phones.

The well-known story is given a modern twist, to which today’s young people can easily relate. To see this incredible piece of work, follow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt7Q9BZeQ_Q

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