At the first day of rehearsals for Inside the GPO I idly remarked to one of my actor colleagues that life, appalling as it generally is, wasn’t too bad today as we had set off to work in theatre some 30 years ago and now we were still involved and looking at being part of creating a great new work for the GPO itself at Easter, 100 years after the Rising.
Colin Murphy – who is a young, fit and dynamic sort – surprised me by adding that he thought we might go back over half that distance as he had first come into contact with Fishamble by taking a playwriting course. Then when Fishamble had put out a call for short site-specific works, he wrote a play set in Amnesty International cafe which was produced as part of Whereabouts, which picked up an Irish Times Award. That whole project and Shorts before it had come out of exercises set on the courses. He had then written one of the Tiny Plays for Ireland, Guaranteed Irish which was performed in Project Arts Centre. The Tiny Plays, by the way, continue to amaze me by their life and production. A set of them are being done this May in The Kennedy Centre, Washington DC, as part of their artistic response to the Centenary, and at the Irish Arts Center in New York. In any case, Guaranteed Irish had been developed to the full length and Irish Times nominated Guaranteed!, and two years later the sequel Bailed Out! was produced as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival at the Pavilion. Now An Post had picked up on the work of Colin with Fishamble and here we were starting rehearsals for Inside the GPO.
This is probably about the most encouraging story I can think of to suggest that the reader have a go at a Fishamble playwriting course to see what it might lead to: but, I’m also pleased to say, one of many.
The courses require no previous experience but what we say is that they’re for people who like to have a go at writing for the theatre in a positive and structured environment.
Next evening course begins April 7th and the May weekend one is April 30th – May, 2nd. For more information, click the link below.
Gavin Kostick, March 2016.