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Friday, 6 September 2013

What a Night!

It was wonderful to see the results of so many months of work on Imigéin finally make it to the stage last night - and what a fabulous show it was! Kevin Treacy, Conor Murphy and Noirín Lynch (pictured above) join in the celebrations.

Everything worked together to create a dramatic and moving piece of theatre on stage - the fantastic performances, the wonderful music, not to mention the set, lighting and costumes.  It was a night to remember....

The cast and crew got a chance to relax after their first night with friends and family - well done to all!

Cloda Curran who plays the central character in Imigéin and Liam Antaine O'Cathasaigh who plays her Father (and yes, he looks well for his years....)
And congratulatons to the Director, Joanne Barry

Jonathan thinks the flowers are for him.....

Des Hurley (Production Manager), Marianne Kennedy and Tom Hanafin chill out after a great opening night

 We'll post some shots of the production itself over the next few days....Don't forget to come and see Imigéin on stage - every night until the 21st of September, (except the 8th and 15th).  You won't regret it!

And a special thanks to Matthew Murphy for the photos...

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Creative Team

We are delighted to have such a talented and world renowned team working with us on this show. Here is some background information on each of them and we hope you come to see the production and experience their work for yourself.

Conor Murphy - Set & Costume Designer
 Conor is a set and costume designer for opera, theatre and dance. He trained at Wimbledon School of Art and completed an MA in Scenography in Utrecht, Holland. He has designed sets and costumes for opera, theatre and dance production in Ireland and abroad.

Recent opera includes: I Puritani (Grange Park Opera) Lohengrin (Royal Swedish Opera), La boheme and Wake (Nationale Reisopera Holland) The Marriage of Figaro (Grange Park Opera), La Clemenza di Tito (Opera North and Nancy) Aida (Dublin), L’Heureespagnoleand Gianni Schicchi (Wiesbaden), Rape of Lucretia and Rake’s Progress (Angers Nantes Opera, St Etienne), Powder Her Face (ROH, Flanders Opera), Salome (Montpellier and Korean National Opera), Rape of Lucretia (De Vlaamse Opera).

Theatre and dance includes: The Government Inspector, The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui,The Crucible and The Rivals (Abbey Theatre); with Marguerite Donlon: Labyrinth of Love (Rambert), Giselle Re-Loaded, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Carmen (Saarbrucken).

 Examples of his designs can be seen at

Kevin Treacy - Lighting Designer
Theatre credits include: The Government Inspector (Abbey Theatre); Twelfth Night (Nottingham Playhouse); Theatre Brothel (Almeida Festival); The Shawshank Redemption (Gaiety Theatre and West End); Love, Billy (Lyric Theatre); The Seafarer (Perth Theatre); Drive-By (Dublin Fringe Festival and Canterbury Festival); The Nose (Irish Times award for Best Lighting Design), The Yokohama Delegation (The Performance Corporation). Opera credits include: Orpheus in the Underworld (Scottish Opera); Tosca, The Flying Dutchman (NI Opera); Rodelinda (Royal College of Music); Xerxes, La Tragédie de Carmen, Flavio (English Touring Opera). Future projects include L’elisir d’Amore (NI Opera) Faramondo (Händel Festspiele Göttingen) Macbeth and Blithe Spirit (Perth Theatre).  Find out more about his work at
Kevin Courtney - Set Construction
Kevin is delighted to be working with Siamsa Tíre again, having previously built 'Tobair na Scéalta', 'Moriarty', and 'Clann Lir' for the Company, and also 'Massabielle, the story of St. Bernadette' for Fr. Pat Ahern in the KDYS Hall Tralee. Kevin lives and works in Dromid in South Kerry and has just recently completed the fitup for 'Riverdance the Show' in the Gaiety Theatre and The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Castlebar. A very big thank you to Anthony Mooney, Pierce Courtney and Kealan Farley who assisted in the Construction and also to Sandra Butler who was the Scenic Artist.

Caroline Butler - Costume Supervisor and Maker
Caroline has worked for numerous companies such as Opera Ireland, The Gaiety Theatre and Second Age Theatre Company. She has worked for Abhann Productions for over seven years and has toured extensively with Riverdance as Costume Supervisor for over five years.
The costumes for Imigéin look fantastic and we can't wait to see them on stage tonight!


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Meanwhile Backstage ...

Each night of the show this pair are working tirelessly to ensure a seamless production of Imigéin - curtains go up, set changes and props are put in place. Meet Des and Gemma Hurley, the backstage team!

Des Hurley - Technical Manager
Des has been a full time member with the Siamsa Tìre company for the past 22 years and now holds the position of Technical manager. Apart from his stage management duties Des has appeared in the repertory work of the company including its ‘Theatre in Education’ programme and has toured and performed extensively with Siamsa Tìre throughout Europe and America. He has received numerous nominations and awards for Technical Support in various musical productions.

Gemma Hurley - Stage Manager
Having completed her Degree in Folk Theatre Studies, Gemma has been a part of the technical team for seven years and last year was appointed company Stage Manager. Apart from her Stage Management duties, Gemma also looks after costumes for the company. She has huge interest in stage lighting and during the winter season she also works in this department. Gemma is looking forward to working as stage manager on the new production of Imigéin.

The accomplished Conor Mitchell - Musical Dramatist

Conor working here at Siamsa Tire during the Summer.
Conor Mitchell is an opera, music-theatre and orchestral composer from Northern Ireland. 

Recent scores include the opera Our Day (NI Opera, Purcell Room), Five Shakespeare Songs on Sex and Death (Perth Concert Hall), Jazz Songs from the Starlight Lounge (South Africa), A Requiem for the Disappeared (Belfast Cathedral, Spark Opera) and his Cabaret Songs - after Britten and Auden (Aldeburgh Music). 

Recent stage works as composer/writer include The Incredible Book Eating Boy (The Mac, Cahoots NI), the children's opera The Musician (Cahoots NI), The Dummy Tree (National Theatre), Geppetto In Spring (Gothenburg, Sweden), The Rosen Street Protest (Lamda), Goblin Market (NYMT), Merry Christmas Betty Ford (Lyric, Belfast), Have A Nice Life (Off Broadway), as well as 12 others. 

With Mark Ravehill he has written the choral work Shadowtime (London Gay Mens Chorus, Royal Festival Hall), an opera Intolerance (Spark Opera, Tete a Tete), as well as the award winning song cycle Ten Plagues (Royal Court, Traverse Theatre) performed by Marc Almond.

He has scored many stage plays including Tuesday at Tescos (Assembly, Edinburgh) starring Simon Calllow, Bent (Trafalgar Studios) starring Alan Cummings and over 40 others in Ireland the west end and abroad.

He has been twice been on attachment to the National Theatre, music advisor to YMT:UK, writer in residence at LAMDA and artist in residence at the new Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast.

Awards include BEST SCORE (New York Musical Theatre Festival), the Stiles and Drewe Song Writers Award, The Arts Foundation Fellowship Award for Composition and two Fringe Firsts. 

He is currently working on a new piece for young people The Tower, his Sinfonietta for Eleven Instruments and Soprano and a new song cycle as well as completing his operatic triptych, The Headless Soldier, again with Ravenhill. He is also writing a new piece to celebrate Derry as city of culture in 2013 and revising his 1998 Concertina for Trombone and orchestra.
Conor lives in county Armagh. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Meet Cast Member... Anne O'Donnell

Anne started her training with the National Folk Theatre at the age of eleven and became a full-time member of the professional company in 1993. She completed an MA in Contemporary Dance Performance at the University of Limerick in 2002. Anne has toured extensively with the company to far flung destinations including Venezuela, Hungary, the Faroe Islands, and the US. In 2008, Anne toured with Rithim Rhythm to San Francisco, performed in Moriarty in 2009 and in the premiere of What The Folk at ABSOLUT Fringe in Dublin in 2010. Last year Anne performed in 'What the Folk' at the Cork Midsummer Festival and the world renowned Edinburgh Fringe.

What are your memories of your first performance at Siamsa?
Performing as the 'Big Girl' in Fadó Fadó in the old theatre - the smelly hot theatre!

What was your favourite part to play in any show and why?
I enjoy the role of the evil stepmother in 'Clann Lir' because it is a role I can play with it and try new things each night.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could only have one item , what would it be?

Describe yourself in three words...
Strong  - funny - flexible!
What is your guilty snack pleasure?
Cheese and crisps of any description

What is your first memory of Siamsa as a child?
The smell of the turf fire in Teach Siamsa Finuge during my audition!

What do you do for a pastime?
Read magazines- my favourite  is 'LOOK' magazine and spending time with my two small boys, Brian aged seven and Killian aged five!

During 2012, the National Folk Theatre toured What The Folk! to the Cork Midsummer Festival and to Dance Base as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Meet Cast Member... Seán Hanafin

Seán is 17 years old and is from Tralee, Co. Kerry. He began dancing at the age of four with Rinceoirí na Ríochta School of Irish Dancing and is a prize-winning champion step-dancer at Munster, All-Ireland and World Championship levels. Seán is also a fine traditional pianist. Seán recently toured Ireland and England with Comhaltas and is now looking forward to touring North America in October. He has been a member of Siamsa Tire for the past ten years and has toured extensively with the company. He has been involved in many productions to date and has enjoyed being part of the new productions 'Turas' and 'Imigéin'.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could only have one item, what would it be?
A Radio!

What is your first memory of Siamsa as a child?
My Audition and singing 'Twinkle Twinkle'...

Give details of a funny or embarrassing(at the time) incident that you were involved in...
Being called at about 8.10pm (show starts at 8.30) to do the show, but not just that - I had to wear a dress and play the part 'Big Girl' in Clann Lir.

What is you guilty snack pleasure?
A Twix Bar

What do you do for a pastime?
Dance and Music!
Siamsa's wonderful 2013 production Turas in which Sean performed!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Meet Cast Member... Clóda Curran

Clóda Curran is proud to be joining the cast of Imigéin in this new and exciting production. Clóda is 18 years old and a native of Tralee and has been performing with Siamsa Tíre since the age of seven. She has participated in many Siamsa productions such as San Am Fadó and Tearmann, and performing in their current productions Clann Lir and Oileán this Summer season. Clóda has performed with Siamsa Tíre in the Cork Opera house and the Civic Theatre in Dublin. Clóda is an acclaimed and accomplished Classical Singer and Pianist. Kerry School of Music awarded her Student of the Year for singing in 2011, and for piano in 2005. She was awarded silver and gold medals for voice and piano with The Royal Irish Academy. Clóda also received the prestigious Rotary Musician of the Year award for singing in 2012, and won the senior piano competition that same year. Clóda has played lead roles in many of the Kerry School of Music’s musical productions such as Les Misérables, Annie, The Wizard of Oz and Footloose. Another highlight for Clóda was a drama production of Massabielle, the story of St. Bernadette, in 2010, in which she played the role of Bernadette under the direction of Fr. Pat Ahern, the founder of Siamsa Tíre. Clóda has just completed her Leaving Certificate and will commence her studies in Radiography at the University of Bristol in September 2013. She plans to combine her studies with her love and passion for the musical arts.

Clóda in rehearsals!

What are your memories of your first performance on stage at Siamsa?
I remember 'San Am Fado' - doing the Chicken Dance!

If you were stranded on a deserted Island and you could only have one thing, what would it be?
A Friend

Give details of a funny or embarrassing (at the time) incident you were involved in at Siamsa Tire.
When I was in 'Tearmann' I was pulling the doll's head off (part of the show-really it was!) and it didn't come off, awkwardly I had to pull the Velcro apart - it was VERY LOUD!

What if anything is the best thing that has happened to you since joining Siamsa?
Never outside Siamsa did I (Irish) dance or sing traditionally, and the best thing is training & learning & making the best of friends here!