About the Show

Love In The Wild is a play written by Lisa Walsh, performed by Anto Seery and directed by Peter Sheridan.

Ger Duffy is a dreamer. He mostly dreams about Grainne McManus. There is a hole in his heart from the day she disappeared out of his life. That was five years ago, when they were lovers and addicts together. One day, Grainne's Da turns up at Ger's hall door in Ballymun. Ger assumes that she's dead; that she has become another statistic to heroin. But the news is different and lights the flame of hope in Ger's heart. Love in The Wild is an emotional roller-coaster of a play that will make you laugh and will leave you, finally, in tears.

 “Lisa Walsh has put human faces, emotions and dreams into the stories that lie behind the headlines” – Joe Duffy, RTE. (Read full note below)

Lisa Walsh - Writer.

Lisa began writing as a participant on the Write On Project in Axis, Ballymun in 2013. She wrote two monologues The Lift and Baths and Chester Slices. The Lift piece was awarded best monologue at the Underground Film Festival in September 2015 performed by Anto Seery. Following this, the monologues were performed by Anto as a support act to Peter Sheridan’s Are you having A Laugh?! Tour in 2015. She wrote Love In The Wild in 2016. She has participated and completed Fishamble Theatres Playwriting Course, The Wild Writers Course and The Write On Project.

Lisa qualified as a social worker as a mature student in 1999. She is currently working in child protection having previously worked as a medical social worker and an addiction worker. She has also worked in various areas of the performing arts for many years including theatre production, stage management and writing. Her previous work includes production management on The Seafarer, Risen People, Irish Council for Civil Liberties Film Awards and Rediscover Fashion Shows. She was event manager on many Ballymun community events, launches and conferences. Lisa also has experience working on the research, marketing and promotion of many Axis Ballymun theatre/festival events including LIFT Youth Arts Festival, Bealtaine, Threads Dance Programme and The Write On Project.

Anto Seery - Performer.

 In 2012, as a mature student, Anto went back to college and studied Theatre & Performing arts at Colaiste Dhulaigh, graduating with distinction in May 2014.  Anto was awarded best actor in the Underground Cinema Film Festival Actors Showcase 2015.

As well as his work as an actor, Anto also works in the theatre industry in various production roles. Production credits include Are You Havin’ A Laugh, Minding Frankie, Meet The Quare Fellow, Wrong Turn At Lungfish, The Confirmation Suit.

Peter Sheridan - Director

The author of several plays, among them, No Entry (1976), The Liberty Suit (in collaboration with Gerard Mannix Flynn, 1977), Emigrants (1978), Bust (1982), Diary of a Hunger Strike (1982), Mother of All the Behans (from the book by Brian Behan, 1987), and Finders Keepers (2005). The plays were seen in Dublin, London, New York, Los Angeles, and Edinburgh. Directing credits include brother Jim's Mobile Homes at Project Arts Centre, A Child's Christmas in Wales, Abbey Theatre, Diary of a Hunger Strike, Los Angeles Theatre Centre, Shades of the Jelly Woman, Irish Arts Centre New York, Somewhere Over the Balcony, Drill Hall, London and Peacock Theatre, I Keano, Olympia Theatre, The Shawshank Redemption, Gaiety Theatre, Dancing Shoes, Grand Opera House Belfast and Beyond the Brooklyn Sky, Garter Lane and on tour.

Wrote a series of memoirs based around his family, beginning with 44: A Dublin Memoir, Forty-Seven Roses and Break A Leg. In between those his first novel, Big Fat Love, was published. Film work includes The Breakfast, which won a Rocky at Banff and co-wrote and directed the feature Borstal Boy, based on the book by Brendan Behan.

Awards include The Rooney Prize for Literature, 1977. Peter was also the Abbey Theatre's Writer in Residence in 1980; and with brother Jim, was joint artistic director of the Project Arts Centre,1975-81. More recently he has been Artist in Residence at Farmleigh House. He has written and performed a number of solo shows based on his books, including Forty-Seven Roses and 44 Seville Place. Commissioned by One City/One Book and funded by Dublin City Council, he wrote and performed Are You Havin' A Laugh at Bewley's cafe theatre in 2016,

Elected a member of Aosdana, an affiliation of Ireland's leading artists, in 2014.

Kate Moylan - Set Designer.

Originally from Kilkenny, Kate graduated from Limerick School of Art & Design with a BA in Sculpture and Combined Media. Having worked in the theatre industry for several years, Kate received a scholarship for a Masters Degree at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. After receiving her Masters, Kate returned to Dublin to begin her career as a production and costume designer. Over the past 5 years, Kate has built up an impressive body of work in theatre, film, commercial, event and music industry. Some of her theatre designs include the Irish premier of ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ at the Gaiety Theatre and several touring shows which include ‘Bailegangaire’, ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Kings of the Kilburn High Road’. You can see all of her work at www.katemoylan.com

www.alcraigphoto.com

 Conleth White - Lighting Design.

Conleth has lit many site specific/installation pieces such as The Tempest (Kilmainham Gaol); Binlids, DubbelJoint, in Whiterock, Belfast and Angel Orenzans Centre, New York; the Field Day/Tinderbox co-production of Stewart Parker’s Northern Star in the First Presbyterian Church for Belfast Festival 1998; Belfast By Moonlight, Kabosh in St. Georges Church 2013 and The Only Jealousy of Emer in 14 Henrietta St, Dublin 2015.

Other diverse work has included, in the Millennium Forum, Derry, imagery/light for Translations (directed Adrian Dunbar, also in the Kings, Edinburgh), imagery/light for Tejas Verdes & POENA 5X1 (Inside-Intelligence, Edinburgh Festival 2013/6), set/light/imagery for the 36th (Ulster) Division Memorial committee presentation of From The Shipyard To The Somme in East Belfast. He toured lighting to swimming-pools in Belgrade, Taiwan, Denmark and the UK with Big Telly’s productions of The Little Mermaid (2005/6).

Recent theatre work has included set, costume, imagery & light for ‘Entitled’ written & directed by Fionnuala Kennedy of Macha (The Mac 2017), set/imagery/light for ‘Belfast Rising’ & ‘Che Guevara’ (Brassneck), lighting for Co-motion’s The Leaves of Heaven by Pat McCabe in The Complex, Dublin and Tera Nova’s Belfast Tempest in T13, Belfast.

Since 2012 he has been involved in the Moving Bodies Festival of Live Art and Butoh in Dublin & Turin. Recently he created imagery for Kabosh’s dramatic reading of North by Seamus Heaney in the Seamus Heaney Home Place (2017). https://conlethwhite.com/ 

Gavin Beattie - Graphic Designer.

Gavin Beattie is a Wicklow based Graphic Designer / Illustrator / Screenprint artist. As well as producing his own design and illustration work, Gavin is a screen print artist and co-founder of Tiny Little Horse - a design and poster art collective producing limited edition, hand-screenprinted posters for various bands touring and playing Ireland.

Gavin is also the founder of Irish Art Prints who design and print posters and cards that hark back to the glory days of vintage, screen printed tourism advertising from the 20th Century. Gavin’s work has appeared in many shows including Absolut DIY, Flatstock Europe (Hamburg) 2009/10/14/16, Proof Print Club, 2014, Offset 2010/11/12 (Dublin), “Gigposters” (Kentucky Museum of Art), Synth Eastwood: Flags (Dublin), Oscillations (Belfast) and more recently has had several pieces archived in the collection at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Germany.
www.tinylittlehorse.com 


Robert Flood - Cinematographer.

Up-and-coming Cinematographer Robert Flood was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. After studying photography and fine art in the National College of Art & Design, he went on to find himself working in the Camera Department in the Irish Film industry. Since then he has worked on many Features, Shorts, Commercials and Music Videos. His work has taken him to many countries and has given him the chance to assist many great cinematographers including Christopher Doyle and Larry Smith B.S.C.

He brings his unique talents and eye to every job and is always striving to learn from all walks of life continuously looking for elements that he can adapt and use in his creative expression. Robert’s latest film CELLAR DOOR, staring Karen Hassan and Catherine Walker, is due to be released in 2018.


Director's Note

The thing about a one person show is that you can tell very quickly if it is going to work. There is just no place to hide when it's one voice, one individual, and you are being invited on a journey and asked to share it with a stranger. If you are not hooked early on, it's unlikely that you will stay the course. On the other hand, if it works, then it can prove to be a journey that satisfies like no other entertainment in the theatre.

The first one person show I saw was Michael Mac Liammoir in The Importance of Being Oscar at the Gate Theatre in the late '60s.  My father sent me to see it and I was simply transported to an unknown, exotic and thrilling new place. I will never forget the moment at the end of the show when MacLiammoir took the green carnation from its button hole, held it momentarily towards the audience and then dropped it. It landed on the stage floor and all of the lights went out, apart from one. A single spot. Illuminating the green carnation. Then blackout.

I became a believer at the altar of the one person show; many disappointing experiences followed, pale as they were in comparison to MacLiammoir. But there were outstanding ones also. Roc Brynner, son of Yul Brynner from the Magnificent Seven, set Dublin alight with his portrayal of Thomas De Quincey in Confessions of an Opium Eater.  Likewise I will never forget Alan Williams in his 'out of mind' feast that was The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati. Buoyed by these experiences, I turned my own hand to writing one and emerged with Mother of All the Behans. The role of Kathleen Behan was created by the incomparable Rosaleen Linehan.

So what is it that makes a good one person show? I think it is fundamentally about honesty. You have to come clean when you have nowhere left to hide. Caricature and artifice don't sustain for very long. You have to let the audience in and show them how vulnerable you are. You have to trust that real strength is in the admission of weakness. There is a bond that exists between audience and performer and if you can go to the dark, hidden space, they will become the support that helps you find redemption when failure beckons. That sounds simple- but it's very hard to achieve. 

In the character of Ger Duffy, I believe that Lisa Walsh has created someone who confounds the stereotype of the addict. As the play emerged over the past two years, she made me, at every hand's turn, examine my own prejudices. I was surprised by Ger's relationship with his mother and the mutual love and respect they had for one another. I was equally surprised by the fact that he had a computer and spent lots of time on it. His interactions with his 'two little nieces' , whom I'm sure find him a terrific and entertaining uncle were unexpected, too.
 

It is the fact that Ger functions so well that knocked me for six. Addicts didn't inhabit those spaces in my view of them. I had Ger defined by his addiction; but he is so much more than that. It took the bravery and insight of Lisa Walsh's  play to bring that home to me. I hope that your own prejudices are challenged by Ger Duffy and his interaction with the world.

Peter Sheridan, February 2018.

RUNNING TO STAND STILL - (Program Note)

"I see seven towers, but only see one way out, " wrote Bono, from his bedroom in Cedarwood Road, as he gazed across the field to the newly-built Ballymun - Ireland's first, and last, exercise in high-rise living. Running To Stand Still describes a heroin-addicted couple living in these flats.  

Ten years earlier, I was running Summer Projects in Ballymun. The summers of 1976 and 1977 were glorious: warm and never-ending; Ballymun was alive with community activists, young mothers and fathers organising arts and crafts, dances, trips to nearby Portmarnock - there was a dream-like quality to those summers. The only shadow cast over us in those two years was the untimely death of Elvis in August 1977 - but that event was at once so momentous and so removed, it only served to remind us that we were living in truly memorable times. The novelty of the flats, with their underfloor heating - brilliant for drying the washing, the central rubbish chutes, meaning there was no need for a bin in the apartment, and the beautiful views over the capital, had still not worn off. But all this was to change utterly when the drugs epidemic hit Dublin.

Lisa Walsh was born into that changing Ballymun, and she has put human faces, emotions, hopes, fears and dreams into one of the many stories that lay buried behind the headlines. The "Fifteen Storeys" have generated many more stories - mostly hopeful, but many grim. But there is a hero in the midst of heroin.

When our hero - for there are heroes and heroines all over Ballymun - gets some news, he automatically presumes it is grim and dark. After all, that's what it usually is ,so why would you think otherwise? It's almost as if working-class people are programmed to expect the worst. Our prospects were never good anyway: limited education, poor health and lack of job opportunities seemed to be preordained. All we needed was a lucky break, an inspirational teacher, a caring social worker, a guiding cleric, or a local sports star to follow. For others, that break came through a parent, relative or neighbour who saw there was more than one way out of the seven towers.

Others discovered the power of music, literature and poetry, a glimpse of what life has to offer on the other side. It is the redemptive power of the human condition than can triumph, that we will always hope. But it can be born of bitter experience, bad luck, bad choices, fragile foundations and supports. Living in Ballymun, Lisa Walsh witnessed many of these experiences.

She grasped the transformative power of education and qualified as a social worker. So, while we learn in academia that water is two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen, Lisa Walsh, social worker, playwright, knows this - but also that true knowledge of water is thirst.

Joe Duffy, Broadcaster and Author.