The idea for this show was formed as a response to Generation 2009, an initiative by Project Brand New in association with The Bealtaine Festival, a celebration of creativity in older age. Project Brand New's approach is to celebrate this creativity through the collaboration of older participants with artists from, usually younger, generations.
I had shown my first work as a Director, Victor and Gord, as a work in progress in Project Brand New in January of that year and it struck me that I knew a woman of a certain age who loved the theatre and who, if the opportunity arose, would get more involved; Generation was the perfect opportunity. I invited Marie over to my house and we wrote our application. In the past 4 years we had spent a lot of time together attending plays and discussing theatre and what it meant to both of us. I was particularly struck by how Marie had a compulsion to attend the theatre, her appreciation of it seemed to go beyond that of a regular theatre goer. Marie doesn't just like the theatre, she needs it. This need became the basis of our appliction and continues to inform our process.
Marie and I researched and rehearsed together for three weeks before the incubation week in Project Arts Centre run by PBN. That week PBN matched us with an artist from London, David Berridge, who we had an immediate affinity with. David's initial interest was in the huge collection of programmes Marie had amassed and in presenting these as part of our design; as an artist he has a specific interest in scores and notations and during the week David worked with Marie filling sheet after sheet with her words which we presented on the stage for people to read after the performance. David also bravely agreed on the first day, despite never having performed before, to join Marie in the piece and both made their stage debut that week. We also benefitted greatly from the input and advice of our PBN mentor Dee Roycroft who gently nudged me out of the director's seat and into the performance on the final day of rehearsals.
The response at Generation was really positive and the impetus was there to try and expand upon the concept and build a full show. At the suggestion of Áine Beamish, Producer of Randolf SD The Company and Associate Producer with The Corn Exchange I contacted the Director of The Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival Loughlin Deegan and we began a conversation which resulted in us being programmed this year. Exciting!
565+ is supported by Irish Theatre Trust and Project Arts Centre
Box Office opens Wednesday 18th August!
Conceived and directed by Una McKevitt
Venue Project Arts Centre
Date 28 Sep - 3 Oct 6.00pm
Bookings 01 673 0606