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