Time & Location
About The Event
This event will be available on our Facebook and YouTube channel as well.
The role of Women in Irish Theatre has always been at the cultural heart of the Nation, great women worked on and off stage to tell the stories of the people to the people. Lady Gregory and Annie Horniman funded the Start of the Abbey Theatre Dublin, 1904. These revolutionary women defined the ambition of the Abbey Theatre with their manifesto “to bring upon the stage the deeper emotions of Ireland”. By 1916 the revolutionary fervour of the Cultural Revival was moving from art to action and from the stage onto the streets.
The play “The Spancel of Death” by T.H.Nally was due to be performed when the Easter Rising began and had to be abandoned before it’s premiere. Perhaps this exceptional play was written ahead of its time. Had it been seen it would have been controversial to say the least, it has extraordinary roles for women, giving them the weight of action, power and agency at a time when women were mostly poetic allegories and symbolic calls for rescue. Having been written “Based on Absolute Fact” this true story opens up the lives of oppressed women in the West of Ireland, 1777. It is impeccably researched and written in the specific dialogue of the time and place. It is a treasure trove of the lives of women at that time.
In ‘Deconstructing Erin’ we will read some of the most pivotal scenes of this remarkable play with some of the most passionate knowledgeable working Irish Actors working right now and open up the scenes for context and content and invite a lively and empowering discussion on theatre, rebellion, women, Ireland and everything in between. Audiences with curious minds and burning questions most welcome!
Proud Canadian artist, Aoife Nally was born and raised in Waterloo, Ontario where she thrived in the community arts scene: KWLT, summer camps at Centre in the Square and Eastwood Colligates Integrated Arts Program. This launched her into McGill University’s prestigious Opera Performance program, Montreal which led her to form her own Opera/Musical Theatre Company, ‘SECOND.email@example.com.’ with Cambridge born Michael Gianfrancesco and, now local, Brent Krysa. Together they produced critically and locally acclaimed productions of Company, Secret Garden, Sweeney Todd, Candide and Mozart’s Magic Flute. She then ventured further afield to do her Classical Theatre Intensive Post-Graduate studies at the London Academy of Music and Drama, UK. Which encouraged her to remain in England and pursue a life of performance on London’s West End Stages. Some of her favourite credits are Jerry Springer: The Opera, Sweeney Todd with Imelda Staunton, Evita for the Donmar Warehouse and Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
After releasing an album of her own music, Aoife was commissioned to write her own original musical “Hallowed Ground” which has already enjoyed two professional workshop productions and is currently seeking further funding for a future full-fledged production. She continues to produce theatre by reviving the work of her Great Great Uncle, the Abbey Theatre (Dublin) playwright T.H.Nally, who’s notorious play “The Spancel of Death” was interrupted by the Easter Uprising 1916. Her two, site-specific immersive readings at Wilton’s Victorian Music Hall and Treadwell’s bookshop have left audiences speechless and dumbfounded, which has encouraged her to pursue her dream of a fully staged production and to revive interest in her ancestor’s work.
Having come back to Waterloo to give a talk on her Great Great Uncle for the IRL. Festival, Aoife has found herself grounded here in the pandemic where she is working on her multimedia, performance, literary and visual arts piece of creative non-fiction titled “Drawing Strength: An Artist’s Guide to Creative Recovery”, which she won her development residencies at Atelier Austmarka, Norway and the Banff Centre for the Arts last year. She is hoping to release selections from this work virtually in the new year.
Nora Connolly trained at The Abbey Theatre and has appeared in many of the canon of classic Irish plays by John Millington Synge, Sean O’Casey and W.B.Yeats at the Royal National Theatre and the Bristol Old Vic.
More contemporary plays include “The Hostage’ by Brendan Behan, 'The Cripple of Inishmaan’ & “The Beauty Queen of Leenane’ both by Martin McDonagh.
Most recently she was in ‘These Halcyon Days’ by Deirdre Kinahan in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Plus performing the Molly Bloom soliloquy from James Joyce's Ulysses’ and her own one-woman poetry show 'Going West’ at various Irish Cultural Festivals.
The Ringmaster in Haunted House Party (Unidays); Francesca in Hoodies of Boyfriends Past (Unidays); Knole Maid in Vita & Virgina (Blinder Films); Em in Homecomings (Kingdom Productions); Grace in Blackout (Secret Garden Pictures); Cadence in Spacemen (Edward Zorab Films); Vicky Wilson in The Lady in the Park (Secret Garden Pictures).
Theatre: Aurora, Kitty, Mary, Violet in A Winning Hazard (The Finborough Theatre); Aoife in Confidence/Supply (The Southwark Playhouse); Anna in Swipe (The Southwark Playhouse); Daughter/Friend/Associate in Farrago (The Arcola Theatre); Various Roles in X&Y (The Lyric Hammersmith); Came in Final Track (The Arcola Theatre); Jenny in Thaw (The Vaults); Paige in Mad Queen's Chess (Sheer Height Theatre/Park Theatre); Cecilia in Gingerbread (Labyrinth Festival); Sorel Bliss in Hay Fever (Bill Kenwright Ltd & Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd); Fay Marquand in Sweet Revenge (Bill Kenwright Ltd & Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd); Lady Rose Lawless in The School For Scheming (The Orange Tree Theatre); Sive in Desolate Heaven by Ailis Ni Riain (Theatre503).