Our brilliant silent movie made with the support of Kildare County Council and Alan Thompson Videography is now online and you can watch it here:.
Directed by Aisling Byrne and starring Mary Gilton, Noel O’ Dwyer, Johnny Murphy, Ciaran Flynn, Brendan Moran, Brian Malone, Tommy Cunningham, John Monaghan, Niall Cunningham and Roy Priest (the participants of Run of the Mill’s Horizons Drama Group) the movie was conceived and devised by the participants and filmed across the community of Celbridge in Summer 2016. Give it a watch!
Reason in Madness. Review by Jerome Corby 27th Nov 2016
There can be few things more rewarding in life than delivering a night of theatre that captivates an audience as fully as Run of The Mill Theatre did tonight. A packed house was witness to a superb reworking of the great tragedy of King Lear. I dare say Shakespeare would have been proud of such a production. Arts and theatre makers with intellectual disabilities from the St. John of God Services in Dublin and North Kildare realised an ambitious undertaking beautifully.
In a devised production, which this accomplished ensemble has worked over the past year, the themes of aging, dementia and vulnerability get a sensitive treatment worthy of the medieval tale and its modern setting. A minimal set allows great use of mime, light and sound to create the eerie sense of foreboding in the story.
But the performances are what bring the whole production to life. On entry, we are treated to a view of the court anticipating the arrival of the king with trepidation. On his arrival, Lear (Mark Smith in a commanding performance) is clearly unhappy and tired of his monarchy, but wants to make sure he hands his kingdom over to the daughter who loves him most.
Cue Goneril (Jane Ryan) and Regan (Ella-Jane Moore) who make great showings of their love for the king, including some superb dancing which had the audience (and the king) in thrall. A lovely understated performance by Michelle Brennan as Cordelia, unwilling to lie to him for her own gain, suitably enrages the easily-deceived father and she is disowned – she marries the King of France, played exuberantly by Neil Coffey.
Kent (the excellent Wesley Fairbrother), faithful servant to the king, is banished from the kingdom when he tries to alert Lear to his unfair treatment of Cordelia, but returns in the disguise of Caius to support the monarch when he discovers the duplicity of his two older daughters. Bad guy Edmund is ably played by John Egan.
The old king’s therapy sessions with the psychologist (played by Kate Bauer who provides splendid costume and assists the performers discreetly and expertly throughout) bring some excellent comedic moments. Smith and his colleagues know how to work an audience, and they do so regularly.
The supporting cast, in particular the demons, bring a menacing quality to the nightmare scenes, especially later on, when Lear descends into madness. Fine stage visuals (by Sean Cunningham) help to generate the desired effects here.
An inspired production, deftly directed by Aisling Byrne, designed by Ciaran O’Melia, with a nuanced text by Oonagh Murphy, and sound by Susie Birmingham with Ellen Gorman and an effective team stage-managing, ensures a thoroughly entertaining spectacle for everyone.
Everyone should see this talented group in the first-rate surroundings of Draíocht, so if you can beg, borrow or steal a ticket for the last performance Wednesday 30th – well, I’m not advising anyone to steal a ticket…
Lear is not having a good week. A storm is brewing and he’s running with the wolves. He’s old, he’s cold and his daughters aren’t talking to him. You can’t rule the world, if you can’t remember where your shoes are. It seems in this kingdom when you’re old and grey, suddenly, you’re in the way.
Rehearsals are steaming ahead for Run of the Mill’s biggest performance of the year, Reason in Madness (a devised reworking of King Lear) in collaboration with Pathways Day Programme and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland to be performed at the Draiocht Blanchardstown on November 29th and 30th.
We’re teaming up with our great friends at Draiocht to offer an earlybird special of 10euros per ticket if you book before September 9th. So what are you waiting for? Follow the link and get booking 🙂
We settled into summer at Run of the Mill Theatre with a little bit of storytelling about the 1916 Rising in this centenary year. Our Avoca drama group meets every Tuesday afternoon at Avoca Day Programme (St John of Gods Community Services Liffey Region) and we focus on supporting our participants towards immersive, experiential, multi sensory engagement with dramatic pretexts and stories.
What does that mean I hear you ask! Well it means we explore stories in really fun ways with lots of rhyme, music, water sprayers, smells, sounds, bubbles, fabrics, props and much more…
This year we took on our most exciting story, ‘The Story of Sean’ based upon Joe Duffy’s retelling of the story of young Sean Healy, a 14 year old soldier with Fianna Eireann who lost his life in the Easter Rising. Through this story we learned about tenement life, we helped Sean’s Mammy look after the house, we attended secret meetings, we emptied noisy slop buckets, we learned old Dublin skipping rhymes, we danced to Irish music, we build barricades, and even held guns
In July we decided to invite some of our family and friends to share this story with us and we had a wonderful afternoon followed cake and of course most importantly tea!
Pictured above are Seamus Granger, Christopher Johnson, Patrick O’ Malley, David McDonnell and Eddie Gill who participated in the performance.
In the words of CAROUSEL June was bustin’ out all over at Run of the Mill, it’s hard to know where to begin…
Crossroads and Seasons presented I’ve a Disability Get Me Out of Here to a packed audience at The Slip Hall in Celbridge on June 23rd. The feedback was fantastic and the atmosphere was electric. The conversation to “take back our nation” was begun and its safe to say it caused a stir! The overwheming feedback was: Everyone. Needs. To. See. This.
And we agree… Plans to develop the piece for a bigger venue are already afoot.
Meanwhile over at our Pathways training programme preparations for what is shaping to be THE definitive reworking of King Lear (seriously, we think even Shakespeare is impressed right now), Reason in Madness are continuing. We had a photoshoot on Friday last with the very talented Vincent Lillis and even though Mark Smith had to cover his face in mud, we think you’ll agree it was worth it when you see the amazing shots. We are bursting to share them! But we can’t …yet…Watch this space.
We also decided it was time to get ourselves a new look logo and enlisted the help of the very talented Paperbag Animator (also known as Sean Cunningham) to help us create something truly unique and original. What do you think of the end result?
In other news, our main ensemble are working hard on Monday evenings to prepare for Culture Night in Sept, our youth theatre finished out the year with a very theatrical ‘Summer Holiday’, Horizons Group continued filming around the town and we drank several, several cups of tea. And that is only SOME of the fun we’ve been up to.
It’s a busy week @ Run of the Mill as we countdown to our performance of I’ve a Disability: Get Me Out of Here next Thursday at the Slip Hall in Celbridge. Filming continues on our community film project Downtown! supported by Kildare County Council. We are working hard on developing Reason in Madness at Pathways Day Programme and enjoyed a visit from our dramaturg Oonagh Murphy on Friday who gave us lots of creative food for thought. Meanwhile our Monday night ensemble are practicing in earnest for their slot on Culture Night, where they will perform a slot as part of The Mill Community Centre variety show. It’s all go to say the least!
Here are some dates to keep in mind:
Thursday June 23rd 2016:Crossroads and Seasons present: I’ve a Disability: Get Me Out of Here, Slip Hall Celbridge, 730pm
Saturday 17th Sept 2016: The Mill Harvest Festival Variety Show, Kildare Culture Night 2016, Run of the Mill perform excerpts from their adaptation of Grease! to be developed in 2017.
November 29th & 30th 2016Reason in Madness presented by Pathways Day Programme, Draiocht Blanchardstown, 8pm nightly.
December 15th 2016 The Plough and the Stars, presented by Choices Day Programme, Celbridge Manor Hotel as part of Kildare County Councils 1916 Commemorations.
More good news at Run of the Mill as we recently secured a grant from the Kildare County Council arts service to create a short silent movie in collaboration with our drama group at Horizons Day Service (St. John of Gods Liffey Region).
The group have spent many months devising the piece, inspired by the commedia characters of the Silent Movie era, and also the work of the fantastic artists at the Ridgepool Training Centre & Scannan Technologies in Co. Mayo who led by visual artist Aideen Barry created an incredible piece Silent Moves that we had the opportunity to see and be inspired by in the IFI last Winter.
We decided to create our own short film and populate it with our own unique characters. Filming has begun with the support of video artist Alan Thompson and we are thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to don costumes in our local community (we’ve even had a few cameos already! And not just the Liffey ducks…) Next week we will be enlisting the help of The Village Inn in Celbridge and The Academy Barber to get some much needed shots (camera shots we mean 🙂 We can’t wait for you all to see the finished product.
So this week we had some pretty exciting news at Run of the Mill that had us and our friends at Pathways Day Programme falling off our IKEA swivel chairs.
Having collaborated over the past year on a learning project we affectionately termed ‘No Fear of Shakespeare’ we had spent a number of months exploring the story of that ‘cranky old man’ known as King Lear.
Everyone had A LOT of thoughts. And questions..
How does the kingdom treat Lear once he becomes old and vulnerable? Has he brought it on himself? Or is it an uncomfortably true reflection of how society treats its vulnerable citizens? Is Lear ‘MAD’, or does he have Alzheimer’s? What is it going to feel like to grow old?
And most importantly, who does Evil Edmund fancy the most?
We decided such questions warranted some serious artistic exploration. So we put on very serious faces, put in a very serious amount of planning and sent in a very serious artistic application.
And we were taken very seriously.
The excitement is palpable at Run of the Mill and Pathways Day Service as we get our heads around the news. We will be developing and presenting a fully realised, artistically ambitious reworking of King Lear with our friends in the Draiocht (Blanchardstown) to be performed in the Winter of 2016. We will be collaborating with professional theatre makers, honing our skills, working and re-working, learning the hard way, using our voices, and challenging ourselves to produce a truly remarkable piece of work.
We’ll be finding out if there’s Reason in Madness.
We hope you will join us on this journey with thanks to the Arts Council of Ireland. Regular updates will follow and for now, we hope you enjoy the video we put together at the start of our explorations.
We’re very excited to finally share details the first outing of this provocative, entertaining and informative new work, devised by the participants of the Crossroads and Seasons theatre programme (St. John of Gods Liffey Region), explores the ups and downs of living with an intellectual disability as we try to navigate the “new directions” of committed social inclusion. But accessing your own community isn’t as easy as it looks when there’s pot holes in the road, support workers interrupting your ‘romantic rendevous’, and stern old ladies who refuse to sell you bottles of wine!
Based upon the real life experiences of the performers, and filled with musical interludes, I’ve a Disability Get Me Out of Here! is a hilarious and heartbreaking journey navigating the past and looking to the future. Don’t miss your chance to see it’s first performance in this intimate setting before the group develops it for bigger venues. Tickets are limited so please email enquiries to email@example.com
WHERE: Slip Hall, Celbridge (beside pedestrian gates of Castletown House, Main Street Celbridge)
WHEN: Thursday June 23rd, 2016.
WHO: Devised by the members of Crossroads and Seasons Theatre Programme in collaboration with Run of the Mill Theatre.
Directed by Aisling Byrne
Assistant Director: Freddie Kavanagh
Devised and Performed by: David Kelly, Sean Kelly, Jackie O’ Hagan, Clare Savage, Aine Walsh, Karen Holahan, Alice Kelly, Jennifer O’ Reilly, Derek Murphy, Yvonne Killick, Laura Hickey, Susan Parsons, Simon Darragh, Ciara Scarlett, Liz Stewart & Alan Wright.
On the 27th April we hosted a fantastic symposium event named ‘The Plough and the Rising’ at The Mill Community Centre in Celbridge in collaboration with the participants of our drama programme at Choices Day Service. The day was a wonderful success and consisted of an exhibition of memorabilia by collector Padraig O’ Brien (press photographs, machine guns and loads more!). Padraig offered a talk about his collection accompanied by short vignettes performed by the actors of Choices Day Programme. Paddy McNally enacted the role of Michael Collins and Joe Gannon the role of Harry Boland as they highlighted the interesting story behind Michael Collin’s purchase of guns and ammunition from the USA. We never realized rifles were so heavy! How did the volunteers do it!
Next up, we had a visit from lecturer Dr. Chris Collins, a specialist in early Abbey theatre who flew all the way from the University of Nottingham, to talk about Sean O’ Casey and The Plough and the Stars. We learned a lot from this talk, and even though we have been studying Plough since January we were amazed by some of the interesting facts and ideas Chris presented. Was Jack Clitheroe a domestic abusing “pig”? Was the Easter Rising a “terrible mistake or a terrible beauty?”. We are still debating it! “What did Sean O’ Casey like to eat?” Guinness mostly, as it turns out- an answer which much delighted curious interviewer Sean Squires.
The day was filled with passing traffic, interested visitors, old friends and new ( a special hello to our newly made friends from the Celbridge Mens Shed!), dress-up, tea, coffee, laughter and theatrics.
The event was run as part of our year long engagement with Sean O’ Casey’s The Plough and the Stars and the events of 1916 supported by Kildare County Council’s decade of commemorations. What started as a small grant application last year has spiraled into a wonderful educational experience for all of us at Choices Day programme and Run of the Mill theatre. We continue to rehearse Plough every Wednesday afternoon and hope to keep you updated about our journey. Would you like to see a guest blog from one of the actors? Let us know! Take a look at some pictures of the day below.
Special thanks to all the staff at Choices, Padraig O Brien for his collection, The Mill Community Centre for their support and the Kildare County Council.