Thursday, June 21, 2007

David Horan's Hue and Cry

“My English teacher told me something in school about short stories that’s true about short plays too: unless you feel at the end you’ve seen a whole life, then it’s not working…”

The Gospel according to David Horan, director of – wouldn’t you know it – a new short play, Hue and Cry, written by Deirdre Kinahan.

Currently weighing in at around 42 minutes, Hue and Cry is part of Tall Tales Theatre company’s season of short plays by women writers, Txt, which will run lunchtimes at Bewley’s Café Theatre this summer.

As well as Kinahan’s show, there will be new work from Iseult Golden and TIC by Elizabeth Moynihan, both of whom are debuting their first full plays. None of these dramas will run to more than an hour.

Hue and Cry concerns a pair of cousins who meet at a funeral. One is a world-worn junky and Shamrock Rovers fan (Karl Shiels, of Semper Fi), the other a choreographer (Will O’Connell, last seen playing a rake of parts in the Abbey’s Julius Caesar). Different worlds, they agree, linked by the fact that neither contemporary dance nor the Hoops pull much of a crowd.

The script for their encounter reads almost like a comedy sketch it is so spare. And short.

“Yes,” says Horan. “The thing is when you leave plenty of space around the writing, you get to create everything else physically, through looks and gestures…”

Horan, director in residence at Inis, the theatre company that brought the world Tick My Box, is a master at making sure the maxim “less is more” holds true. That small comedy also started off in Bewley’s Café Theatre, but subsequently toured extensively for nearly three years.

“Touring for that long means you get into an awful lot of the administration that goes with it,” says Horan. “So, we decided that we would only write this year.”

First fruits of that approach should be the TV version of Tick My Box. The original production had Inis founders, Iseult Golden and Carmel Stephens, playing all the characters at a speed dating event, shapeshifting to hilarious effect between desperate punters and their dates.

The television version has been expanded to a four-parter during which we see the events of the night from the point of view of four different characters. “…”

So does Tick My Box the television show keep the theatre version’s magic trick, of having the two women play all the characters. “No, they won’t be playing them all. We thought about it doing it that way, but no: Iseult and Carmel have sort of chosen their favourite characters and we stick with them through the night.”

Next up for Inis at the theatre, however, is – you guessed again – another program of short plays, this time from the master of the miniature, David Ives, one of the few playwright’s who writes works so short you could catch a handful of them at lunchtime.

Labels: , , , ,