4th, 5th, 6th and 7th May 2015
Scoil Na Naomh Uilig, Rickardstown, Newbridge, County Kildare.
(And in The Liffey Studio, Newbridge on 18th and 19th June)
Directed by Peter Hussey.
Othello is Kildare Youth Theatre's third major Shakespearian production with this current ensemble, coming at a timely point in our European history with the East. The play can be seen as part of the literary canon that alludes to the West's historic (and current) attitude to the East, particularly to non-Christian Muslim and Turkisk culture. We have often been encouraged to fear the Arab, Islam, the Ottoman - from the days of Greek resistance to Xerxes and the Persians, through the fall of Constantinople to Suliman, down to today's growing fear of Islam.
Casting Othello as a Persian warrior living in, and mostly saving the Western states of Venice and Cyprus, we hope that the play will throw a little light on this historic tension between East and West.
It is, of course, not the main focus of our production. We are interested in the boiling relationships that Shakespeare dissects in this island barracks geared for war. That the war never happens leaves the soldiers with pent-up energy that’s barely contained: celebrations turn into brawls; the sober and courtly become night-brawler; time itself mutates into something unreckonable; and the close relationship between two long-serving soldiers sours and festers, propelling the action of this great play.
Iago is relatively easy to understand, for all his complexity. His raging hurt at being passed over for promotion (after his long and loyal service to Othello) is reason enough for him to set vengeance in motion. He does not know how it will end when he begins to plot and we are hooked by his delight at how events spiral almost out of his giddy control. His burning bitterness fuels all. Othello, on the other hand, has made calculated attempts to knit himself into the aristocracy of this powerful city state. But being an outsider here marks him. However, he weds one of their golden girls and promotes to his side one of their golden boys. This is indeed the classic behaviour pattern of the native-made-good (the Raj in India, the Catholic middle-classes in 19th Ireland, the ‘warrant chiefs’ in 20th century Kenya and Nigeria). It is the behaviour of one who desires to be accepted into the ruling class but who actually rarely is. And Iago can see this. Like the Joker in The Dark Knight, he plays on Othello’s insecurities, pushing him - in the space of a day - from hero to murderer. Othello’s fall from the status of lover to killer in such a short space of time is hard to understand, and difficult to justify. This, and other knotty complexities of character and relationship, is the focus of our work in this version ofOthello.
The production was staged in the round (with audience on all four sides), on floor level, and without theatre lights. The text is unedited but some actors double-up. As is usual with Kildare Youth Theatre’s classic play productions, Leaving Cert pupils who are studying the play performed the majority of the roles. They came from seven different schools in Kildare, and are all members of Kildare Youth Theatre.
Othello – Darius Ryan-Kadem
Iago – Caolán Dundon
Desdemona – Éadaoin Barrett
Roderigo – Evan Lynch
Cassio – David Devaney
Emilia – Emma Finegan
Montano – Alec Devaney
Brabantio / Attendant – Robert Doran
Bianca – Katie O’ Connor
Duke / Gentleman – Aran Cluskey
Gratiano - Graham Butler-Breen
Senator / Lady – Rachel Foran
Lodovico – Eoin Harnett
Clown / Servant – Sean O’ Brien
Attendants / Musicians – Sarah McCormack, Graham Butler Breen, Alec Delaney.
Original music by Darius Ryan-Kadem
by William Shakespeare
"If you are free, actually even if you have lots to do on the 18th/19th of June you should cancel EVERYTHING to see Othello by the Kildare Youth Theatre. Seriously.
Bernard and I went to see this production at Scoil Naomh Uilig a few weeks ago and just couldn't believe the standard of both acting and production. I was lucky enough, while a student,to have experienced a Shakespearean play in Stratford on Avon in England and more than once as a student in Galway. Kildare Youth Theatre's production really surpassed anything I had experienced. Of course, Peter Hussey's production is intimate and immersive making you feel like a character in the play rather than an observer.
Treat yourself and your parents or your children or your friends or just people you like.
Go see! Then come back and gush like me!"
- Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy
NT CONNECTIONS 2015
'Same' by Deborah Bruce and
'Hearts' by Luke Norris
11th - 12th March 2014
We presented two brand new plays as part of the National Theatre (UK) Connections project, especially for teenagers by two of Britain’s most inventive new writers.
They premiered in Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge on Tues 11th and Wed 12th March, and will now be staged in The Liffey Studio (above Johnson's pub) on Sat 23rd March at 7.00pm, and in The Lyric Theatre, Belfast on Saturday 29th March at 7.30pm ('Same') and 9.00pm ('Hearts').
KYT have taken part in Connections since 2002, and have performed 28 plays from the Connections repetoire of new work for young performers. This year's production brings the total to 30.
"The Connections Portfolio is a wonderful collection of work," says Peter Hussey, Artistic Director of the youth theatre. "It has given us the opportunity to present not only new plays, but very often we've been the company who've brought the work of international writers to Ireland for the first time. It was a real thrill, for example, to be the first company to stage any work by Norwegian playwright, Jon Fosse, in the country. We premiered his play, Purple, in Ireland in early 2003. And while the premieres are by youth theatres and not professional companies, the fact still remains that Irish audiences get their first taste of many international playwrights through this sector. We also presented the first work in the Republic of Ryan Craig, Fausto Paravidino, Bryony Lavery, Denis Kelly, and Laline Paull. This has all been thanks to Connections. The two new plays we present this year will also be the first time these writers' work has been seen here."
Hearts by Luke Norris is about football. It is set in the changing rooms of a local, unimpressive, football team. It explores the tensions and rivalries of the team, and of the girls who support them. The play is about perseverance, struggle and hope – a sharply observed comedy appealing to anyone who has ever struggled to get a football team off the ground.
Same by Deborah Bruce is set in a nursing home for the elderly. It has a set of characters in their 80s and some in their mid-teens. It looks at the similarities between the two groups and how, ultimately, we are all the same. It also deals with family, death and loss in a touching, real and humorous way.
Peter Hussey directs the plays, which feature a cast of 22 and a crew of 10 young people from all over Kildare. Some of the group are very experienced, having been in several plays over the last three years; while for others this marks their stage debut.
Pie ... ... ... ... ... EVAN LYNCH
Harry ... ... ... ...CAOLÁN DUNDON
Reedy ... ... ... ...JOHN CLEARY
Mary ... .... ... ... JERRY CHIKWE-IWU
Langers ... ... ...JACK HIGGINS
TJ ... ... ... ... ... ... JASON SUEN
Leon ... ... ... ... .PAUL MILLER
Blackhall ... ... .EOIN HARNETT
Bella ... ... ... ... ...MEGAN MC SORLEY
Simone ... ... ... ALLIE WHELAN
Jade ... ... ... ... ... KATIE O' CONNOR
Jo ... ... ... ... ... ... GEMMA CAREY
Tiff ... ... ... ... ... .. RACHEL FORAN
Becky ... ... ... ... MOLLY KIELY
Emma ... ... ... ... ... ALANNAH RYAN
Fay ... ... ... ... ... ... HAZEL EGAN
Harry ... ... ... ... ... SÉAN O' BRIEN
Sarah ... .... ... ... ... SARAH MC CORMACK
Callum ... ... ... ... .. ERON FERIZI
Jo-Jo ... ... ... ... ... ... SOPHIE RYAN /
EMILY MC TIGUE
Clare ... ... ... ... ... ...EMMA FINEGAN
Marion ... ... ... .... ÉADAOIN BARRETT
Sadie ... ... ... ... ... . EMMA LYNCH
Alf ... ... ... ... ... ... CAOLÁN DUNDON
Eddie ... ... ... ... ... JOHN CLEARY
Grace ... ... ... ... ... AOIFE TAYLOR
Josie ... ... ... ... . ... MEGAN MC SORLEY
Harry ... ... ... ... ... JERRY CHIKWE-IWU
Directed by PETER HUSSEY
Lighting by KEITH BURKE
Set by JUSTIN KINAHAN
DEAN KELLY www.pictureboots.com
PRODUCED by Crooked House Theatre Company
NATIONAL THEATRE (UK) CONNECTIONS
The world's largest celebration of youth theatre
Since 1995, the Natioanl Theatre in London has been commissioning plays from established writers specifically to be performed by young people across the UK and Ireland. Founded by Suzi Graham-Adriani, with Helen Prosser, Connections invites groups to perform one of the ten new plays at Regionat Festivals held at a professional theatre in their area. In Ireland the annual regional festival has been held at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast; the Everyman Palace, Cork; Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge; and the Grand Opera House, Belfast.
A random performance group from each play is then chosen to stage their production at the end of the programme in July at the National Theatre itself. In 2003 Kildare Youth Theatre was one of the ten selected, and premiered Mark Ravenhill's 'Totally Over You.' In 2007 the young company was again selected and perfmed Ravenhill's 'Scenes From Family Life' at the National. Since 2003, Kildare Youth Theatre has performed 28 new plays from the Connections portfolio, including many by Irish writers.
Any young company from the UK or Ireland, school drama group, or youth theatre (whose members are aged 13 to 19) may apply to take part in Connections, the world's largest festival of youth theatre. Click here to visit the website to read more about the proess and the writers who make it all possible.
In 2014 Connections is supported by the Arts Council of England.
Listen in as KFM's Brenda Drumm and Emma Tobin discuss the performances after the first show, in 'Driving Home From The Gig.'
TeeNEXTers Project (France)
Our friends in Theatre Le Grand Bleu in Lille invited us and other young European performers and critics to take part in an exciting project for young critics in November 2014.
Together with Peter Hussey, 5 young people traveled to Lille from 25th to 29th November to attend performances at the NEXT Festival and learn about critical reviewing and writing.
The young people saw productions from exciting French and Belgian dance and theatre companies, showcasing post-dramatic, experimental work that left the audience divided in opinion. The young people then worked with Peter Hussey, Gareth Vile and other artists to make performace-based responses to the work which were presented in theatre le Gramd Bleu on the final night.
The irish participants (pictured left) were Megan Mc Sorley, Sarah Mc Cormack, Caolán Dundon, Evan Lynch and Lauren Kelly.
Further information about the NEXT festival here: