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

 

 

March 2017 newsletter – extended cut

The Plot Thickens…

Ever wondered where old Willy Shakespeare got his line, “All the world is a stage” from…? Read on for the answer!

With Valentine’s Day AND Pancake Day now feeling like a distant memory, you would be forgiven for thinking that things were looking pretty bleak. Well think again. With a swathe of exciting news, Blackshaw is here to dispel your March misery (it’s a thing!). And as the days grow lighter, the stories are growing darker…

Some Treachery: A Miss McSkimming Mystery by Richard Stratton

Saturday 13th May, 6pm
Putney Arts Theatre
£8-10 tickets on sale now! Clicky clicky, booky booky.
A radio play recorded in front of a live audience (hilarious sound effects included).

What at first seems like a trivial case soon reveals a plot that could shake the very foundations of the British Empire. With her faithful valet by her side, Miss McSkimming must deal with butlers, the police, mysterious men in the shadows and a hippo, to get to the bottom of what could be her biggest case yet.

A rollicking comedy with a chic lady investigator and mysteries abounding, this piece promises to delight audiences, young and old!

“Why would I venture out of my cosy armchair by the fire, when I can listen to it on the radio?” I hear you cry! Simple really. Because technical wizard, Andrew Crane is going to be running around making every sound effect necessary, right in front of your very eyes (can’t see that on the radio). Need a cat screech? He’ll do it. Need the gentle trill of a swallow announcing the new day? He’ll do it. Need a bomb explosion? You get the jist. Plus he’s bound to cock it up at least once…

You can see what other fabulous shows and events are happening as part of the Wandsworth Fringe, here.

May New Writing Night

Submissions are now open for Blackshaw’s May New Writing Night, and after the success of the showcase event, with over 100 submissions, you’re going to want to get in quick!

We are not just looking for new plays (though of course we want them too!). We are keen to receive all manner of submissions, from sketches to sitcoms, stories to sonnets, beat poetry to beaut songs. If it has come out of your head and landed on a sheet of paper, we would love to receive it!

More information about the night, along with the submission form, can be found here.

Naughty Willy in fact nabbed it from the very theatre he called home. The motto of The Globe was ‘Totus mundus agit histrionem” meaning ‘The whole world is a playhouse.” Shakey took it for As You Like It and changed it to ‘All the world is a stage.’ Proof positive that Shakespeare was nothing but a thief and a plagiariser! Well, ish…

 

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

4 things to do on Valentine’s Day

Joe Haupt – https://www.flickr.com/photos/51764518@N02/

I am reliably informed that love is, once again, all around us. The signs are all there. Personal, handwritten love letters…crudely printed onto cards with a picture of a teddy bear or a heart (which doesn’t even look like an actual heart; anatomically not even close). Love is stupid, apparently.

 

We are presented with modern tokens of love: chocolate to release endorphins in your partner that you can’t summon up yourself; flowers, an ominous metaphor for your fleeting happiness; a puppy…well that one is quite good actually. Now that those other 364 days are over and you need to prove to your other half that you have a modicum of care and respect for them, here are some cracking suggestions for things to do today, or sometime this week (it’s on a Tuesday this year. The. Worst. Day.):

 

1. Cirque du Soleil’s, Amaluna

If in doubt, throw some money at it. Cirque’s latest offering is based on The Tempest, that perfect Valentine’s tale. After all, what says love better than living alone on an island with your creepy dad for years, before ending up with Shakespeare’s second most boring lover (the first is Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice. Obvs.)? So remortgage your home and fork out for a spectacular reminder of all the bodies you will never look like and all the positions your other half will never contort themselves into. And they’re French. That’s romantic.

Royal Albert Hall, until 26th February, £20-£92, https://tickets.cirquedusoleil.com/shop/#/96095cbb-fb4f-49c4-9dd2-239bb3226dee/shop/search?skin=amaluna

2. Blood and Bone

No this isn’t the title of Donald Trump’s guide to seducing your own daughter. Cicada Studios’ latest offering is a satirical puppetry show, as rude and irreverent as they come. Life isn’t Pixar and this ain’t a kids’ show. At fifty minutes long, that is all the foreplay you will need. Puppet sex is reportedly the latest aphrodisiac. I was going to make a puppet fisting joke here but decided against it; I figured I would be elbow deep in complaints.

The Vault Festival, 15th-19th February, £12, http://www.vaultfestival.com/event/blood-bone/2017-02-15/

3. A Clockwork Orange

Joseph Senior – https://www.flickr.com/photos/josephsenior/

Don’t think this needs a blurb really. A dystopian romance, sans the romance. To be fair, the word ‘romance’ is derived from ‘romant’ meaning ‘in the Roman manner.’ So in many ways this show does have romantic themes in it: violence, forward-thinking, sexual aggression, hard to understand language, and back-stabbing individuals. Action to the Word’s version is an all-male sweatfest of energy and pulsating choreography; a visceral and explosive production. Thankfully none of the guys in it are muscly and handsome. Well apart from Jonno Davies. Oh and Seb Charles. Tom Whitelock has a filthy glint in his eye. On second thoughts, for the sake of your relationship, maybe this show isn’t for you…

 

The Park Theatre, 14th February-18th March, £10-£29.50, https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/a-clockwork-orange

 

 

 

 

4. The Magical Lantern Festival

Now this is a risk for sure. It will require actual social interaction with your partner. I know. Scary. Hopefully you can distract them with the pretty lights and pictures, in this visual spectacular at Chiswick House and Gardens. The ice bar and ice rink will lower the temperature perfectly to the level of your ice-cold heart and frigid relations. Apparently there is also a burning rooster. Something to do with the Zodiac, but more fittingly a metaphor for the burning desolation of your love. But if they can’t appreciate you paying out £18.11 (bizarre pricing system…) to avoid doing any work towards the date yourself, then are they really worth bothering with anyway?

Chiswick House & Gardens, until 26th February, £5-£18.11, https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/magical-lantern-festival-london-11371885852

 

So there you have it, you lazy blighters. A selection of generic events that everyone else will be doing. The spark is alive! So go out there, book into one, and convince yourself you aren’t a terrible human being. Hurrah! My girlfriend is going to kill me for writing this.

 

Liam, External Communications Coordinator

Lisa L Wiedmeier – https://www.flickr.com/photos/crazymandi/

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.

 

 

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.

art-1

Strat gets in close to achieve optimum art.

art-4

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

art-5

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

art2

Well done guys, another successful ‘art”

art-6

 

 

 

Vacancy: External Communications Coordinator

Can you make Twitter sing? Are you organised, enthusiastic, and looking to take ownership of a company Facebook account? We’re looking for someone to look after our social media here at Blackshaw, and make their mark online. Take a look at our work on our website and see if we might be the company for you. There’s also this handy blog post that tells you why you should join us.

Please note: This role is voluntary, part-time and UNPAID. We’re very flexible and work around company members’ availability.

Let us know if you’re interested by sending a copy of your CV and a covering note to say why you think you’d like to work with us, and we’ll set up an informal meeting with you (email ellie@blackshawonline.com).

Responsibilities include:

– Helping to develop content for social media posting (alongside our existing team)
– Writing copy for, and programming, tweets and facebook posts
– Writing occasional blog posts for the Blackshaw blog
– Responding as Blackshaw, to tweets and comments/posts on Facebook
– Supporting the rest of the team with the development of Blackshaw’s voice and presence online

What you can get from working with us:

– Attend super fun events and theatrical productions
– Receive mentoring from professionals in the team to expand your expertise in your field of interest
– Shadow other Blackshaw team members to gain new skills, experience, and expertise in other areas of work
– Optional: Contribute as a co-host or content producer for the company’s fortnightly podcast, the Blackshaw Arts Hour

– Optional: Contribute to the wider press and marketing campaigns for Blackshaw’s productions

–  Get to meet lots of lovely theatre people

Emma, who’s leaving this post for a full time job in Cardiff, reflects on her time in the role:

Blackshaw Theatre are an inspiring theatre company and I had a great time working with them over the last year and a half. They are a very welcoming and talented group of people who really made me feel part of the company from day one.

I was employed as the Press and External Communications Officer. This was my first ever job in the Arts, it really gave me an insight into the Theatre Industry. The role involves programming the social media – being ‘the voice’ of Blackshaw and contacting Press during show times.

What I loved most about this job was how involved I was. Although I ran this role from home (often in my PJs with a cuppa), the communication within Blackshaw is amazing and I was able to keep up-to-date with everything going on, and program the social media accordingly.

I wish Blackshaw all the best and I can’t wait to see what great things they do next!

 

Please note: This role is voluntary, part-time and UNPAID. We’re very flexible and work around company members’ availability.

Let us know if you’re interested by sending a copy of your CV and a covering note to say why you think you’d like to work with us, and we’ll set up an informal meeting with you (email ellie@blackshawonline.com).

 

New Writing Night – September 2016

Photos by Richard Stratton.

Grim Reaper

Written by Dean Bevan

Directed by Marcus Bazley

Grim Reaper – Thomas Witcomb

Deaf Old Man – Tony Parkin

Deaf Old Woman – Margaret Ashley

 

Eyes

Written by Christopher O’Shaughnessy

Directed by Alexander Pankhurst

Actor – David Bibby

 

Callieach Óg

Written by Gerry Moynihan

Directed by Marcus Bazley

Callieach Óg – Victoria Otter

Snibber Bannon – Jimmy O’Rourke

Marie – Liis Mikk

Daithi – Adrian Fear

 

Exposure

Written by Liam Steward George

Directed by Ellie Pitkin

Alice – Victoria Gibson

Mum – Emily Swain

Greg – Alexander Pankhurst