Central Arts residency, a year in review....

Holy crap a year passes fast! It's been two months since I finished my residency at Central Arts, Waterford and I want to share with you some of my experiences of spending a year in such a wonderful place!

Ciara and John O'Connell are two innovators-after working together for a year in a very loose manner, they popped the question at Christmas 2015, and we decided that I would take up the residency in early March 2016. And so I did, I moved house, upped sticks and into a house share in Ferrybank. Previously I had been living on my own for two and a half years so it was a big change in every sense!

Let's start at the very beginning...

I was welcomed to Waterford, me and my little dog Charlie. We were welcomed and we were made to feel very at home.

I was Central Art's first artist in residence. I got a desk in an office with the lovely Dan McMahon, photographer and promoter for Central Arts. First intuition here was: this is good, this is very good-as within weeks Dan and I were hatching plans for crazy projects. Regular faces in my office were Dylan Lacey-who teched my first performance in Central Arts, a fantastic sound engineer, Bobby Winter-a super sound engineer, who also worked with me on my first show in Central, Heather Troy-Whelan-who has become my touring sound & light tech for Pulled-couldn't have asked for better than Heather, Laura Fitzpatrick- burlesque goddess, and Mick and Daisy O Connell, Ciara and John's two fabulous children. What an environment to be settling into-I was in love! 

Artistic projects

Many projects were developed during my year at Central Arts. Here's a run down...

Lady Lane

Introducing Lady Lane! #lanelady

Myself and Dan McMahon shot two Lady Lane videos, and had planned for a third but time ran out. Even though a year sounds long it's crazy how it flies when you're busy at work! Hopefully we'll get a chance to bring her back to life once more. Lady Lane brought with her a lot of criticisms-people didn't like me impersonating a homeless person in the midst of the homeless crisis, however this was exactly why I chose to crate a homeless character. I wanted to create an activist, with no fixed abode who used her rap skills to interpret people's own views and rap them back to them. I spent a few months with no address, I was lucky to have friends couches to sleep on. Not everyone is this lucky, and in creating my characters I often look to a time in my life and wonder what if the situation hadn't taken the upturn it did-what if things went down instead of up. Lady Lane is a character close to my heart. I adore her! (Obviously I am biased) She's a lot of fun to perform, and to be honest, I think it's fun to rub people up the wrong way sometimes.What's the fun always staying on the safe side of things? Her attempts at activism can be seen in her second video below. I hope you enjoy!

 

mAndrew

The best way to get away with being a sexist is by being a...... MAN that's right! So in order to do my highly contentious critique of all things GIRL I created mAndrew, a socially awkward sexually conflicted man who secretly is jealous of all things feminine. 

mAndrew on stage presenting Central Arts Open Mic night

mAndrew on stage presenting Central Arts Open Mic night

I pencilled on a little 'tash, donned a collar and strutted on stage as mAndrew. The m is silent of course. mAndrew presented nights in Central Arts, peformed in Kilkenny and had his final performance at the Bill Hicks Tribute night in Dublin. Ironically I was the only woman on the "bill" (oh I just had to-forgive me!) and I was doing a male impersonation. I have put mAndrew to bed for now to concentrate on writing more stand up as my character from Pulled, back to the old moniker of "YER WAN". From a woman hater to an extreme woman-watch you're back, no one is safe!

Pulled

The biggest project of the year, produced by Central Arts & Devious Theatre, my biggest work yet: a two hander comedy show featuring two girls, a bottle of vodka, and a mouldy bedsit. Pulled played Central Arts for a five night run and the Set Theatre for three nights where it was a total sell out success!

This year, Pulled will play Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August and in September take to the stage once more in Ireland-this time touring fourteen venues nationwide from the end of September until the middle of November. 

Image & original design by Matthew Reilly, Graphics by Ken McGuire

Image & original design by Matthew Reilly, Graphics by Ken McGuire

I won't say much more about Pulled here, as the next post will more than likely be ALL about the show! 

Wrapping up the residency

From November I have been working hard to get the Pulled tour up and going, and keeping it on track . I had notions of having time to write other shows but I think they'll have to wait until Amanda & Michelle dominate the world! 

In March 2017 I packed my bag, presented my body of work to an audience of invited friends & staff of Central Arts. The showcase included: Lady Lane, mAndrew, a work in development "I was talking to your wife", other works in development "The Ladies" & "Shirley's dressing service", "Pulled" of course, and another work that I am tipping away on in secret, like a little miser with my words. 

I packed up my lovely colourful office, my house in Skeard with my lovely Polish friends, and moved my butt to Brussels in the name of love, and in the name of theatre. 

The year at Central Arts was an experience I will never forget. It was a game changer in terms of my theatrical career, it enabled me to make my best work yet, and gave me the kick I needed to stay in the theatre world, and work harder for my place in it. 

Thank you...

Special thanks go first and foremost to Ciara & John O'Connell for the entire wonderful year!!!, the lovely Dan McMahon for putting up with me and my dog Charlie, Laura for being the best craic in the office ever!, Heather for being a shining light and a friend, Oliver Rohan for supporting my work and introducing me to some Waterford creatives I would not have met otherwise, to WELL festival for taking me on and giving me their trust, Conor Nolan for supporting my work with Waterford City Council, my lovely home dawgs at Devious Theatre-Ken McGuire, John Morton, & Kevin Mooney, and last but not least ManG & Michal for sharing their home with me.

Making...PULLED!

Sure I'll tell ye a bit about how and why I came to do this show! 

Photo by Matthew Reilly

It all started in my friend Kevin Mooney's house, we were messing around, doing a bit of improv, and this very brash, ballsy, female character came out, she was filthy, unapologetic, and just told things like they were. Kevin Mooney and John Doran said "you should write that" and I said "what! NOOO! She's too crude... but do you think I should?" So I wrote YER WAN. And toured YER WAN, and if you would like to know more about... YER WAN there's a whole page dedicated to her one woman show under the "shows" label on the left there! Enjoy. She's still available to perform that show, should you wish to unleash a single stream of comic gold filthy consciousness on your audience! 

So the last run YER WAN had on her tour was in Waterford. To promote the show I had been doing stand up slots at their Open Mic sessions. I had never done stand up before, but I loved it! And I loved going to Waterford to perform, the people, the atmosphere, the gathering of artists... all the things I missed while being a theatre practitioner (kind of) marooned in Kilkenny. So when they decided to run a residency, they asked me to be the first guinea pig, to give it a whirl and see what I could make of it. I was thrilled! I was looking down the barrel of unemployment, just about to finish my position at Young Irish Film Makers (where thankfully I still work on their film projects). I had a tech job, but my hours were very low. Something had to change, I knew I had to leave Kilkenny, but I thought it would be to somewhere a bit more extreme than Waterford! 

Once I decided to grab the bull by the horns and do the residency, I knew exactly what my plan of attack was going to be. PULLED! 

Filmed & Edited by Matthew Reilly. Written by Niamh Moroney. Performed by Andrea Bolger and Niamh Moroney. Words from PULLED!

Andrea Bolger, the actor who is playing Michelle, has been part of the process since it's inception. Andrea, I thought, might take over for me in YER WAN and I would produce a UK tour for YER WAN. Then the residency came up, and a chance to write a new piece of work can't be turned down! So Andrea and I turned to a new idea... the morning after the night before. 

The story went through so many phases, it is unrecognisable. But we always knew that the hard facts had to be hit if we were going to do a play about two women. The points we decided to confront are RIVALRY, BEAUTY, DESIRE, and SHAME. These girls have lots of desire, even though they are TOTES BFFS! They are also rivals. They don't really understand the concept of beauty outside of what they see in the magazines, and reality TV. They are both desiring creatures, pretty much all they do with their lives is desire, and attempt to achieve the object of their desires. Shame, they have none. Well maybe a little bit, but definitely not very much, at all. 

I wanted to write something stronger, filthier, and a bit disturbing. Amanda and Michelle are less of a cartoon than YER WAN was, they are faced with real dilemmas, true crisis, and in true artistic fashion- they deal with topics that society doesn't want to deal with, in the despairing ways they can. Your heart would go out to them! 

Photo by Matthew Reilly 

Let's face it, women always come last. I know you're thinking "oh great, let's have it feminazi" but I have watched my male colleagues soar, while we struggle. And it's not because our work isn't good enough, or that we don't work as many hours in the day, it's just that women come second, and that is the way it has been for eons. Finally we can see this, and make attempts to incite change. 

This is what I wanted to do with PULLED all along. Push women's voices, show the world we're filthy too, we're not what you think we are, we are dirty, desiring, shameless, imperfect, and wonderful creatures, who deserve to be equal and deserve equal support. 

So for all the oppressed, second class, unheard ladies in the world.... this one is for you! We open Tuesday the 13-17th in Central Arts, Waterford! And then to Kilkenny September 29-October 1st. Please come down for a good old belly laugh with us! 

Pulled is kindly supported by the Waterford New Playwright Scheme, Waterford City Council, special thanks to Conor Nolan for the support on that, and to Mary Butler, who supported the play with the Arts Acts Grant, with Kilkenny County Council. Inter county love! Proud as punch. 

PULLED! COMING REAL SOON!

PULLED! Coming real soon! 

...a comedy about two girls fightin' the fear. Who will pull through? Amanda or Michelle? Maybe they'll just pull the heads off each other... Join these two man eating club stomping wans as they battle one of the worst hangovers of their lives in an attempt to follow a trail of snapchats, texts, and selfies back to memories long lost to shots- what and who they did last night?! How did Michelle end up here, where the hell was Amanda? Or... do they even want to know? 

Following Niamh's highly successful self penned & produced tour of "YER WAN" in 2014 & 2015, "Pulled" continues the debacle of being a young woman on the pull. 

How do young women react to a crisis when the odds are against them in pretty much every single way? Join Central Arts and Devious Theatre in September to find out! "Pulled" premieres in Central Arts, Waterford On September 13th-17th. It follows up with a three night run in the Set Theatre, Kilkenny September 29th-October 1st. 

Pulled marks a major new collaboration between the two South East based companies, Central Arts of Waterford, and Devious Theatre, of Kilkenny. This is the third production in the celebration of Devious's 10th Birthday. It is also the first in house production Central Arts will present following the success of the collector. 

Tickets available here

Waterford 13-17 Sept. http://centralpulled2016.eventbrite.ie/
 

Kilkenny 29 Sept- 01 Oct.   http://www.set.ie

All tickets 12euro also available from both venue receptions!
 

More info on the play and companies at:
www.centralarts.ie
www.devioustheatre.com
www.niamhmoroney.com

6weeks = 4new characters

1. Lady Lane #lanelady

Who's that GRRRL? Nanananananananananaaaa..... It's LADY LANE! #lanelady Rap artist extraordinaire. She's a resident of Lady Lane, her namesake. She might just be coming to a lane near you soon! Tune in for more lady lane, and her sidekick C-DOGG. Poor aul #lanelady wandered into the slip way up to Central Arts one day, and recognising her talent, the staff took her in for a cup of tea. She then hosted the April open Mic, which scared off a lot of people, and subsequently made her own rap video which you have just witnessed. Lady Lane stands for common sense and generally sound people. She's been messed around by the HSE and claims a certain TD as her arch nemesis. Mental Health care, Arts, and Environment are being neglected by this government and Lady Lane intends on addressing those issues. Watch this space while #ladylane and her stalker Dan McMahon cause a ruckus in Waterford City! 

There she is now presenting the Open Mic. Delighted she was! 

Domestic Gothess

Domestic Gothess, Richard Clare, and Rob Ireson

Domestic Gothess likes to wash the dishes, she likes to do the drying up, she likes flame throwers, and toast. She cleans her toes with a tooth brush. It fits perfectly don't you think? She doesn't speak. Oh no, ladies should be seen and not heard. She lives in a constant high of humour. Oh Domestic Gothess come over and clean my house with your toast and feet cleaners. 

This character came about while I wracked my brains for a performance art piece to do at Human O Rama, a wonderful once off performance art event that happened in MYO, Cork City in April. It was curated by these two wonderful humans, two people who get the art I like to make, make it themselves, and do it well! I have been fans of theirs since seeing Rob Ireson perform at Electric Picnic over 2 years ago, and Richard Clare in Cork before Christmas. It was an honour to perform at their event and I owe them a lot because this character has come out of it, and she is snowballing, and soon will hopefully come to live again in France in the month of June. Watch this space for Domestic Gothess! And thanks a million to Richard and Rob! 

Bloody Hell!

So this project is as of yet unfinished-this image is just to tease you! WATCH THIS SPACE we will release this work in the coming months. This project is brought to you by John Conway, Richie Cody, Niamh Moyles, and myself. KEEP YOU EYES PEELED, and maybe they will bleed too. X

HEART SHAPED VINYL!

"I am trying to break your heart...."

10 years on, and we are still breaking hearts with this show. Three sold out shows, one half house, and four more to go. For our 10th Birthday Devious Theatre are "re issuing" our very first production, a show I produced with John, Ken, & Kevin when I was 17, again when I was 18, then again in Cork a few years later at 20 (I think). And this time I have the joy of designing the lights, with the wonderful Richie Cody running them for me while I perform on stage. 

It is actually emotional, working with the guys on this show again, and to be honest... we are a great team. Ten years on we will get along, we still sweat for each other and do our utmost to make the shows a success. It is an absolute pleasure to get to do this, so big shout out to my theatre family, John, Ken & Kevin. Those guys rock my world!

There we are now! On our 10th Birthday!

My scene partner Amy Dunne has made this whole process light, airy, like a dream! She is a top class performer and I am honoured to share the boards with her. We play Maggie & Louise, an unlikely couple with opposite tastes in music who meet in 2014. Louise is a DJ, an obscurist, and Maggie is a club stomper, who likes to dance to Bowie, Prince, ABBA, Marvin Gaye, even a bit of Beyonce! You name it, if it's got a groove, she'll move to it. But when Louise won't stop playing "weird shit" like Kendrick Lamar, Maggie makes it her responsibility to confront her. Two years later, the girls are engaged. Naturally they row over the music that will play at their "traditional" wedding, but in the end, compromise is found, and love wins the day. 

What a pleasure to perform on the anniversary of the marriage referendum, a day where I found myself crying four times, (and once in the pub-SOBER!). Here's the poster for me and Amy. It's amazing! We got our own record cover! Big up to Ken who took the pic and John for the design. I don't think it could have turned out better! 

Peace and love for now X

What's been going on!?

Well listen up and I'll tell ya....

WE LAUNCHED....

PULLED, my new show! PULLED will tour in September/October and will feature myself and the wonderful Andrea Bolger as the cast. The story follows on from YER WAN where Amanda (yer wan) and Michelle battle the fear together to try find out what exactly happened last night, who Michelle got off with, while also solving all the world's problems and bringing the audience a bunch of belly laughs in the mean-time! 

It will be presented by Devious Theatre & Central Arts, and I am moving to Waterford to write it! The outline is done, a few dates are booked, now the serious business begins.... writing the bloody thing! It's harder said than done if I'm honest. I sit on my hole and day dream for several hours, and if I do this for long enough the show gets formed totally in my mind, and then I hold it in for long enough, and then projectile vomit it all over my laptop. And a play is born. Okay so obviously it doesn't go just like that... but kind of like that... It involves more whiskey and less thinking. SO yes I am very excited about this, and cannot wait to bring it to your lovely faces in the south east, and watch this space because more dates will be added as the year rolls on!

DEVIOUS THEATRE TURNED 10!!!! OMG!

 

What a smart ass logo to celebrate the 10th anniversary! I like it! Kudos lads. T'was 10 years ago when a gang of theatre enthusiasts sat around drinking tea talking shite, being eager to do more shows and make art together. Ken McGuire (Uncle Ken as we now call him), John Morton (Morto), Kevin Mooney (Mooners...for many reasons), Angela Walsh (who cleverly bowed out before we nicknamed her) and my self, Moroners, because they couldn't come up with anything better without being sexist or too truthful (like I was drunk cu*t for a while but like...) We were so innocent back then! We each threw in €25 euro for our first play, we made the first production of Heart Shaped Vinyl on a measly €100, we sold out every night, and so... well, we kept making shows and shows and shows and 10 years on we are reunited making PULLED, and HEART SHAPED VINYL the new edition, which I am so proud to say I am cast in, and will be performing a brand new decade opposite Amy Dunne. What an honour and a privilege! What a lucky gal I am, 10 years on, the banter will be had, and a kick ass show will be produced. Watch this space guys, and be there the last two weeks of May in Cleeres theatre! It really is an event not to be missed. 

ALL GURL POERTY & COMEDY!

For international Women's day myself and Sandrine Dunlop ran an all girl comedy & poetry night in Ryan's Bar Kilkenny. We had 15 performers and raised 170€ for the Women's Refuge Centre. The house was absolutely packed and it was just so so so nice to see the community come together and support such a brilliant event. Every little piece made this night amazing. It was indeed hard work! But totally worth it. Sandrine and I had started hatching plans during my residency in Callan in January, so it was couple of months in the making.  We had women come from Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford, and all over the country side of Kilkenny. We had stage debut's and seasoned performers. Most importantly we had a great fund raiser and made a happy contribution to Kilkenny's international women's day. The rest of the events here were absolutely amazing and we were so delighted to be a part of it! Thanks to all who supported in whatever way they could! Here's to next year and more belly laughs and charity events for local organisations! wooop woooop!

PERFORMANCE AAAAART!

HumanORAMA.jpg

I made my performance art debut of 2016 at HUMAN O RAMA, a brilliant event organised by Hmmm Collective which comprises of Rob Irieson and Richard Clare. I am a huge fan of both Rob & Richard's work and cannot express how delighted I was to perform along side them both on the night (last Friday) hopefully some footage will emerge soon and you can witness the madness for yourself! I performed "Domestic Goddess" with the help of some audience members I managed to use kitchen tools in new ways. A kitchen revolution you might say! My performance was also branded "disturbing" a badge I will wear with pride.  

i think that's it... OH ONE MORE THING!!!!

I'm going to be teaching a drama class for adults! here's the deets....

In for the win!

The Set Theatre wins Best Live Music Venue

Left to right: Dave Holland (sound engineer) , Charlie (moral support), myself (lighting tech), Andrea Keogh (booking agent), Conor Langton (bossman) and Eddie Langton (bossman).

The Set Theatre, where I work as lighting tech, won the Best Live Music venue at the IMRO awards last week. We were all called in for some cheesy snapshots of us showing off the award (see above).  

I feel like now I should write something meaningful about my experience of lighting the bands; the challenges, the intensity, and how really, I actually enjoy it all so so much.

But I'm not bothered. My job kicks ass! Yeah! 

 

A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

it really is quite a big deal... do read on!

Myself and the wonderful folk at Central Arts Waterford would like to announce that I will be taking up a year long residency in their theatre. From March 1st, I will be making, doing, filming, shaping, writing, and creating new work. I will have many many collaborators join me in my artistic endeavours, and will of course be (and am very much looking forward to) collaborating with the artists that are already set up in house. 

THANK YOU Central Arts (pictured above Artistic Directors John and Ciara O'Connell). What an opportunity! I will try my best to do ye's proud! I currently have 2 shows in development that will light up the Central Arts stage within the next year and several other side projects on the boil. So literally WATCH THIS SPACE! Here's a word from the horse's mouth

Central Arts intends through this collaboration to not only build on its work as a venue for and a producer of independent theatre in Waterford but also to expand its offering throughout the southeast with tours and collaborations

So there you have it folks, if you want me creatively- you know where to find me! Here's to a great year of art making ahead!

Comedy improv at 7am!

...as part of a residency at the wonderful Fennelly's of Callan

It’s a little over mid week, the fire is lit, three jack russells are curled up at my feet in front of the fire. Jesus, it’s bliss!

I’m here to spend the week writing, improvising, testing, and generally making bits and pieces for my new show, it’s got no name yet… but has developed in leaps and bounds already this week! Every morning I’ve gotten up at 6.30am, got straight into costume (glittery golden heels with matching clutch, a vibrant pink mini dress with zebra print trim… oh the glory!), prepared my improv session, and as soon as the customers start coming in for brekkie, we begin!

Me: “Where the fu*k am I?”

Audience: “Callan…”

Me: “Like Oliver Callan?... are we inside Oliver Callan???”

Audience: “No, Callan is a village in Kilkenny”

Me: “Right… how the hell did I end up here???”

The audience fill in flash cards with prompts included such as “Place:”, “Event:”, “Person:”, “Transport:”, and when they pop their suggestions into my clutch hand bag, I conjure up a (usually surreal) evening of events that lead me to end up passed out on the couch at the wonderful Fennelly’s.

Here’s a taste of the trifle:

"So I arrived here to this place on Sunday, had me camel in tow, and we were just shattered after our long journey on the  aul magic carpet. The camel is a cossack dancer, I'm basically a vagabond who profits off his talents, I made him do an hours street dancing (I go around with the hat) so we had enough money to hit the pub, and have a sauna. I was hangin for a sauna! Me poor aul camel took a big crap on the street, and I didn't bother to pick it up (camel shites are HUGE!). Well someone didn't like this very much, he lead me down the street, poor aul camel too, I said "here are you bringin' us to the Sauna lad?" and before I knew it we were in the police station. Not a bit funny. They thought I was takin the piss when  I said we got there by flying carpet. I said yeah "from Switzerland, CERN like!" They told me CERN was for making new micro galaxies that may or may not one day turn the entire known universe inside out. I said "You've got it all wrong, CERN  stands for "Carpet Elevation by Rob Nolan" so it does". They told me I'd lost my mind, and my punishment for the shite out of my mouth and on the path would be to go to mass to straighten my head out. I agreed cos I knew, at least, we were goin' somewhere with drink! The camel is an atheist so was prepared to do anything to get out of going to mass, so he distracted the cops with his wonderful dancing, knocked me out with a kick, shoved me back onto the rug, when I woke up obviously I was annoyed with me camel buddy, we had a fight, and it resulted in a head on collision with the wee pub here. Sorry about that. Have to wait for the camel to re weave the threads before we can head off. But I spotted some whiskey inside so I'd say we'll be grand!"

Come join us for more improv tomorrow (7am-10am) and Saturday (8.30am-11.30am) morning. Porridge, fresh ginger and carrot juice, coffee that's ground before your very eyes, and a drunk bitch ranting your own insane thoughts back at you. What better start to the day?