Cailleach Óg – March 2017, The Pleasance Theatre

CAILLEACH ÓG by Gerry Moynihan

WORLD PREMIER: Industry Showcase

Blackshaw’s Showcase Award Winner 2016

Performed Thursday 2nd March, 7.45pm, The Pleasance Theatre

‘CAILLEACH ÓG…? She arrived on the back of a pig. What else do ye need tae know?’

Husband and wife DÁITHÍ and MÁIRE UÍ DHOMHNAILL own a pub in Bally Briocht – frequented by local barfly SNIBBER BANNON. A strange woman calling herself CAILLEACH ÓG arrives, and is soon making wild claims about being “The Mother of Mountains”, much to the amusement of DÁITHÍ, MÁIRE and SNIBBER.

DÁITHÍ subsequently finds his fate increasingly intertwined with that of CAILLEACH ÓG. And as his life very quickly unravels beyond his control, he desperately tries to hold on to his marriage as well as his sanity.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Gerry is from Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He graduated in 2012 with an MA in Screenwriting from The London College of Communication. His projects include a feature King Billy And The Popes; a TV spec script for a Detective series Bundle, a spec script for BBC TV Series ‘Doctors’ Teenage Kicks and a radio play entitled The Bread of Life. He has also published one short story, Phantom Limbs.

His first piece for theatre, a short play entitled Skiver, was staged at the Brockley Jack Theatre. His first full length play Continuity opened “Vibrant 2016” – The Finborough Theatre’s Annual Festival of New Writing and is currently being considered for a full production in the summer.

Cailleach Óg won The Blackshaw Theatre’s Showcase 2016 Award.

t: @GerryMoynihan w: http:// geraldmoynihan890.wixsite.com/scriptwriter

THANKS FROM THE WRITER

Marcus Bazley for his insightful script feedback. Matt Boothman, Vikki Weston and Ellie Pitkin for the support in making this production happen at all! The talented actors and crew whose combined efforts brought the script to life. To Ronnie Troughton for listening/arguing/supporting. And a very special thanks to my number one muse & critic who keeps me going; Claire Dongworth.

CAST & CREATIVES

VICTORIA OTTER – Cailleach Óg

Victoria graduated with an MA in Acting from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and studied Drama at Exeter University. Recent theatre credits include ‘Jackie’ in Bad News (Briefs) by Shaun Kitchener (Waterloo East Theatre), ‘Gertrude’ in Hamlet (site specific), ‘Rivers’ in Richard III (Old Red Lion Theatre), ‘Stevie’ in Fitting Room by Tara Lepore (Eastern Angles, The Wolsley Theatre) and ‘Sarah Casey’ in The Tinker’s Wedding by J.Synge (London Irish Theatre).

Victoria first played Cailleach Óg as a rehearsed reading for Blackshaw Theatre at their New Writing night at the Hen & Chickens theatre.

 

NATHAN GORDON – Dáithí Ó Domhnaill

Nathan graduated in 2016 from the one-year acting course at Oxford School of Drama. Theatre credits include: ‘H’ in Flashes by Isley Lynn (Soho Theatre, 2016); ‘Lucio’ in Measure for Measure (North Wall Oxford, 2016); and ‘Ernest Beevers’ in Time and the Conways (OSD, 2016). Screen credits include: ‘Marc Vlessing’ in Foyle’s War (ITV, 2013) and ‘Duncan Stonehouse’ in Irish soap Fair City (RTÉ, 2008-10). Nathan very recently recorded The Secret by Deric Henderson as an audio book for RNIB Talking Books.

 

LIIS MIKK – Máire Uí Dhomhnaill

Liis trained with The National Youth Theatre. Her recent theatre credits include ‘Woman’ in The Ones with Urbn Theatr (2016), ‘Chorus’ in The Bacchae with Lazarus Theatre Company (2016), ‘Liz’ in Master of the Macabre with MOTM Productions (2015), and ‘Berta’ in Re:Tale with Written Foundations Theatre Company (2015).

Liis is currently seeking representation.

 

STEPHEN GOOD – Snibber

Stephen is a graduate of Drama Studio London. Credits include ‘Polonius’ in Hamlet (2012; directed by Jimmy Walters). For Mercurius Theatre (all directed by Jenny Eastop): ‘Chrysalde/Henry’ in School for Wives (2013); ‘Hoard’ in A Trick to Catch the Old One (2014); ‘Yellowhammer’ in A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (2015); ‘Everill/Sir Paul Eitherside’ in The Devil is an Ass (2015). For television: ‘Pete’ in Unbelievers (2015 TV pilot, directed by Matthew Colclough).

As an Irish actor, Stephen is particularly gratified to be involved in a new Irish play.

MARCUS J. BAZLEY – Director

Marcus is Artistic Director of Cyphers Productions, as well as a freelance director who has worked across the UK and in France. He has previously worked for Blackshaw as Assistant Director on Alice in Wonderland by Richard Stratton (2015) and Staying Alive by Kat Roberts (2015). Directing credits include: Henry V by William Shakespeare (2014 & 2015), Le Journal d’un Fou by Nikoli Gogol (2015), Communicate by Jeremy Fletcher (2016), as well as his own adaptations of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (2015) and The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (2016).

ANDREW CRANE – Sound & Lighting Designer

Andrew is a graduate in Drama and Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway University (2012), and has worked as a sound designer and technician for Blackshaw Theatre since 2012. Sound Design credits include Black Shuck by Duncan Hands (2016—Old Red Lion), Staying Alive by Kat Roberts (2015—The Pleasance), Alice in Wonderland by Richard Stratton (2014 & 2015—Battersea Library), Character by Florence Vincent (2014—Tristan Bates), and Fetch by Duncan Gates (2014—The Selkirk).

For Blackshaw’s Arts Hour on Wandsworth Radio, Andrew has edited several radio plays including Audience with the Ghost Finder by M. J. Starling (2015), and a serialised adaptation of Great Expectations by Marcus Bazley.

ELLIE PITKIN—Producer

ADAM PENNY—Assistant Producer

VIKKI WESTON—Script Consultant

MATT BOOTHMAN—Script Consultant

JESSICA BAILES, VIOLAINE BRUNELIN, IASHA CHAPMAN, SUSANA COLUNGA, CHARLOTTE DISCOMBE, LIAM STEWARD-GEORGE, RICHARD STRATTON—Associate Producers

 

 

CAILLEACH ÓG, JESUS, HOMER SIMPSON, ME & DUFF BEER…

CAILLEACH ÓG, JESUS, HOMER SIMPSON, ME & DUFF BEER…

by Gerry Moynihan.

Sometimes you write something and when its finished, or more precisely when it finally reaches a level of acceptability, you are left wondering rather as one of the characters in CAILLEACH ÓG might put it, “Where in under Jesus did that come from?”

I’ll try and retrace some of my steps.

For a ten minute play challenge I wrote a scenario called CAILLEACH ÓG involving two women in the west of Ireland having a confrontation over a missing man. The play involved a black hole (i.e. a circular piece of black cloth) and it appeared that the man was pushed into the hole by one of the women, CAILLEACH ÓG, who also subsequently pushed the other woman – her adversary – in as well, only for her to get mauled to death by a ferocious animal. The man is then made to re-appear by CAILLEACH ÓG in the form of a small black kitten…

See what I mean?

“Where in under Jesus did that come from?”

But it was only when I won the Blackshaw Showcase Award that I revisited the script and tried to answer that because now I was charged with the challenge of turning it into a full length play due to be staged roughly nine months thence.

I immediately had to confront a series of questions.

To once again echo the character in CAILLEACH ÓG; “Who in under Jesus was CAILLEACH ÓG and where in under Jesus did she come from?”

“What in under Jesus was it really about anyway?” and so on.

The “when and where in under Jesus?” were the easiest questions to answer; it would still be set somewhere in the west of Ireland in the present day.

Next came the “Who in under Jesus?

“The Cailleach” is a figure from Irish/Scottish mythology who shaped the landscape. She was very often portrayed as an ‘old hag’. I found out that this was largely down to the usurping of of pagan mythology by Christian mythology and, as a sign of the churches future patriarchal nature, “The Cailleach” was recast from being a powerful Goddess/deity, to that of and old hag, who was barren and who lamented the loss of her youth. That was why I had already decided from the outset that I would call her CAILLEACH ÓG, óg being the Irish word for young for I wanted to make her young(er) and feisty again.

The “What in under Jesus?” was going to be harder and so “I played it by ear” as the saying goes.

And after many false starts and attempts at different scenarios I sat down one day and the whole opening scene in the pub seemed to write itself and there was very little about that scene that would change. Indeed it would dictate the general direction that the rest of the play would take. And so, there it was; instead of an Irish man walking into the pub and being the main story teller it would be a woman; CAILLEACH ÓG – younger, feisty and of course, enigmatic.

I now had the main characters and the pub setting – a solid basis on which to build since the first scene raised all the questions that an audience would expect to be answered in some way or another… so my work was cut out for me… to try and answer those questions was the spur needed to move forward and progress.

I also knew by then that I would be incorporating either poetry, song, dance or music or perhaps a combination of all three as music and song loom large in my background having been a gigging musician all my life in various guises. And so to this end I rifled through my music and book collection.

Then it was time to mull again…

After another bout of fits and starts in the writing I took a break from it until I went on holiday where I found that I was able to move forward… just as well because it was coming up to Christmas and the showcase was scheduled for March.

I came back from holiday, submitted a draft, was happy with the feedback, made some changes, did a lot of tweaking and suddenly the story direction was becoming clear. I was of course hoping that any meaning(s) taken from the play would amount to a lot more than the sum of its parts – that certain themes would come to the fore – but it is a matter for the audience to decide upon as to whether or not this is the case and if I am successful in that respect.

Eventually after months of feeling like Homer Simpson – who, when he decided to get fit, took on the challenge of climbing a mountain and each time mistakenly thinking that he’s reached the summit, only to find that it was in fact just another ledge on the way to the real summit – I finally felt that I made it to the summit.

There was only one thing to do.

Just like Homer, get in some Duff beer and bask for a while on the sofa.

But still, all I could think as I swilled my Duff was – “Where in under Jesus did that come from?”

Showcase Shortlist New Writing Night – January 2017

We’re thrilled to announce that the winner of our 2017 Showcase Award is Nicole Locke, with ‘Moth Man’.

 

She had some seriously stiff competition, with 4 other fabulous shortlisted pieces performed on 30th January at the Hen & Chickens.

 

Made Glorious Summer by Lilly Garwood-Lloyd

Directed by Alexander Pankhurst
Tom – Stuart Vincent
Rebecca – Beth Organ

A Stone’s Throw by Annie Power
Directed by Christian Durham
Wilksy – David Atkinson
Viv – Maxine Howard

Heat is On by Stewart Schiller
Directed by Jo Greaves
Phil – Adam Seigel
Bethany – Sophie Kisilevsky

The Final Adventure of Frankie Fightwell by Chris Buxey
Directed by Phoebe Hitt
Frankie – Abigail Morgan
Stuart – John Rayment
Dominic – Tom Slatter

Moth Man by Nicole Locke
Directed by Stephen Bailey
Dave/Moth Man – Joseph Cullen
Malcolm – Alex Maude

Photos by Richard Stratton – https://500px.com/richardstrat

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 56

For the first show back into 2017 Iasha is joined by Matt and a very new voice to the show, Sinead Burniston, a fellow Holloway graduate and theatre lover.

Matt reviews the Lego Batman film, we hark back to some old conversations from 2016 including a run down of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, how bad Suicide Squad was and Iasha talks musicals and lack of tap with Half a Sixpence.

Next show Matt’s reviewing Fifty Shades Darker, and if there is a show not to miss this year, it’s that one. So much awkward.

 

 

Casting Open: CAILLEACH ÓG

We’re looking for a stellar cast for this exciting new play, to be performed as a one night only, industry showcase on 2nd March at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington (London).

Click here to apply!

Deadline for applications: Thurs 9th Feb

If you wish to take part please include your EMAIL ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER in your application. Without this information we cannot consider your application.

Character Breakdown
DÁITHÍ
DÁITHÍ – Male. 30s/early 40s. Good Irish accent (Donegal).

DÁITHÍ owns and runs the pub in which the majority of the play is set, along with his wife, MÁIRE. Despite noticeable tensions in their marriage, he does love his wife. He is a realist and sceptic with a dry, mocking sense of humour. Presents a hard front to the world to cover up his vulnerability.

SNIBBER
Snibber – Male. 50s/60s. Good Irish accent (Donegal).

Snibber is the ever-present fixture in the local pub, never seen without a glass of whisky in his hand. He is somewhere between a best friend and adopted father to DÁITHÍ, the pub owner. Cheery and always on the look out for something to make him chuckle.

Winner of Blackshaw’s Showcase Award 2016, CAILLEACH ÓG by Gerry Moynihan, has been in development for a year.

Myth and reality clash when a strange woman arrives in a quiet pub in the west of Ireland on a stormy November night.

Husband and wife DÁITHÍ and MÁIRE UÍ DHOMHNAILL own a pub in Bally Briocht – frequented by local barfly SNIBBER BANNON. A strange woman calling herself CAILLEACH ÓG arrives, and is soon making wild claims about being “The Mother of Mountains” as well as being “all wise and all knowing” much to the amusement of DÁITHÍ, MÁIRE and SNIBBER.

DÁITHÍ subsequently finds his fate increasingly intertwined with that of CAILLEACH ÓG. And as his life very quickly unravels beyond his control, he desperately tries to hold on to his marriage as well as his sanity.

But who exactly is this strange woman called CAILLEACH ÓG? And what really brings her to Bally Briocth?

“CAILLEACH ÓG…? She arrived on the back of a pig. What else do ye need tae know?”

Auditions & Rehearsals will be in London locations on the following dates:

Sat 11th Feb 3-6pm (Auditions)

Sat 18th Feb, 11am-4pm

Sat 25th Feb, 11am-4pm

Sun 26th Feb, 11am-4pm

Mon 27th Feb, 6-9pm

Wed 1st March, 6-9pm

You will be needed all day/evening at the Pleasance Theatre on 2nd March for rehearsal and performance.

Whilst unpaid (expenses cannot be offered), this is a great showcase opportunity (we will be inviting lots of industry folk, and welcome your suggestions for industry comps (including casting agents). The aim of the show is for the piece to be picked up for further development/production – past winners have taken the cast with them when this happens! You will also be able to get production photos for your portfolio.

 

Why enter our new writing competition?

2016’s Showcase Award Winner, Gerry Moynihan, tells us why you should go ahead and enter this year’s new writing competition.  You too, could be having your work developed and produced at a London theatre!

 

Deadline: 30th December.

Info on the scheme and how to submit, here.

 

“I submitted a short piece called “CAILLEACH ÓG” to the showcase largely on a whim. At the time I had no idea who the central character was; what the play was about or why I even wrote it! I only  had a vague idea that I wanted “to write something for the stage”. But winning the showcase award soon provided me with the incentive to grapple with the central enigmatic figure who seemed to have come from nowhere.

Blackshaw certainly created a momentum as they immediately set about planning a full production of the play for March 2017. This certainly focuses you and  is a valuable  yet risky leap of faith in the writer; just what most aspiring writers need in fact. But luckily Blackshaw are a writer-centred organisation who are friendly, supportive, approachable, enthusiastic and proactive in their endeavour to get things done.

If you win the showcase award your play will be produced. I recommend that you get in there and very quickly you will move from being “someone with an idea for a play” to being  a writer  with a deadline working towards a full production of your work. And what writer doesn’t want that?”

– Gerry Moynihan

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 53

This week on the show, Iasha is joined by Vikki and Matt, and Strat and Alex are back once again to tackle an art, this week we’re doing sculpture!

Matt reviews Arrival and can hardly contain his excitement for what seems to be a high contender for one of Matt’s picks of the year.

Vikki tells us about a very immersive theatre experience she and Alex participated in last Friday and we also hear a live recording of a Scare Slam story from our Scare Slam at the Horse and Stables last year.

Below is the photographic evidence of the sculpting that took place during the live recording of this podcast…keep reading to find out the winner and the artist whose work would make it onto the fourth plinth (if this were a real contest and not just us making things up for the sake of radio…)

Alex halves the block of clay, pure joy.

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Strat gets in close to achieve optimum art.

art-4

Alex gives us “Giving Thanks”. Not enough to win this time.

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And the winner, deserving of a spot on the fourth plinth, Strat’s “Trump Slug”

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Well done guys, another successful ‘art”

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Scare Slam 2016

A night of chilling storytelling.

A fabulously spooky evening at the Old Red Lion as part of the London Horror Festival.

17th October, 9.30pm.

 

Lucy’s Tea Party by Molly Beth Morossa

Chug Life by Dave Bibby

The Dewey Ones by Ben Whitehead

The Flat Upstairs by Paul Joseph

Skag n’ Bone Man by Stack 10 Theatre (written by Ed Hartland, performed by Stuart Vincent)

At The Edge by Ed Bailey

The Haunt by Stack 10 Theatre (written by Ed Hartland, performed by Charis King)

Compered by Ellie Pitkin

Photos by Charlotte Discombe, Helen Johnson and Ellie Pitkin

 

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 52

This week on the show Iasha, Matt and Ellie are joined by Strat and Alex, doing their very first ‘Art’ on the new segment ‘Strat and Alex Do Art’.

Matt reviews Dr. Strange and maintains his professionalism as he is drawn by our two ‘artists’.Ellie talks to us about something new coming to Cineworld in Wandsworth which is pioneering 4DX cinema experiences and we heard from Owen Collins reciting some of his poetry at a recent Blackshaw new writing night.
  
Alex and Strat get into position to begin drawing Matt’s portrait for the hour recording
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                     Strat tries to copy Alex’s art/looks on longingly at his ability to art.
img_3342Iasha looks happy despite the clowns looming in the background and the adequate art taking place
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Strat is hesitant to show his art to the class
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After much anticipation the two portraits are revealed to the enjoyment of Ellie and possibly to the horror of Matt. Some fine work produced – Can you tell who’s portraits is whose?
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The likeness is uncanny.
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