Media & Reviews
"Walsh's monologue captures the sense of dislocation of a recovering addict back in a mainstream world that has left them behind"
"Seery's performance transcends Ger's limited horizons... under Peter Sheridan's subtle direction... he slowly reveals layers of personality... we are fully invested in what's at stake"
Alan O'Riordan - The Sunday Times
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"an exceptional one-man performance"
"Touching, thoughtful with a terrific performance from Seery"
"...there are rich veins of interrogation running deep. Alongside a detailed depiction of an addict in recovery, Sheridan, Seery, and Walsh beautifully articulate a rich, if subtle, commentary on Dublin"
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The play’s themes – redemption, love, hope, isolation – are universal, after all, says playwright Walsh.
“It is hugely important how people relate to Ger,” says Walsh. “But a lot of things that he goes through relate to everybody.”Click here to read full article
“The play is about love, it’s about judgment but hopefully it’s also about redemption. He’s not the stereotype of an addict, there are many layers to Ger and many layers to his story,”
Ger’s experience was informed and inspired by Lisa’s work in addiction services over the last 20 years. While taking part in a creative writing course five years ago, Lisa recalled a story she’d heard about one addict’s experience of visiting Ballymun swimming pool 20 years previously.
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RUNNING TO STAND STILL
" 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.