‘Gaslight’ – Review

By Ciaran Milton

No Drama’s Gaslight at Smock Alley is highly recommended.

In one sense the staging of this play could not be more timely, given that its title has now become a byword for gender-skewed manipulation and bullying. In another sense it is a treat to watch a straight up stage-thriller from the forties performed so adroitly and, in a wise choice, without any ironic winks to the modern audience.

The cast are so game and committed that Patrick Hamilton’s plot mechanics are allowed to ratchet to their inevitable conclusion.

Elizabeth Ann Doyle is excellent as Bella Manningham, vulnerable to the exploitations of her husband – a schemer of mysterious intent who from the outset undermines her sense of worth and sanity – but maybe not as vulnerable as we think.

Philip Arneill as her gimlet eyed husband (and our evening’s antagonist) eyes his surroundings and anyone in his orbit with the right balance of entitlement, greed and, inevitably, fear.

Declan Ryan brings levity and charm to the occasionally oleaginous role of Detective Rough, the spanner in Mr. Manningham’s works.

The production is a huge success, and a wonderful thriller to be engrossed in for the evening.

And No Drama stalwarts Helen McGrath and Siobhan Hickey make sure-footed work of the roles of the maids caught in the proxy snares of the house – Elizabeth meaning only to work for both their benefit, but Nancy clearly eyeing the sides for her advantage.

Tickets: €15 | €12 student/OAP/unwaged concession

Tickets available from https://smockalley.com/gaslight/

Workshop – 26/11/2019

Tomorrow’s workshop will be facilitated by none other than No Drama Theatre Chairperson, Louise Dunne!

Louise’s workshop will be centred around putting into practise our storytelling techniques for theatre.

Doors 6:45 | Workshop 7 pm | CBS Synge Street

€10 per workshop | €25 for the month | Free if it’s your first No Drama workshop

Workshop – 19/11/2019

This Tuesday (19th November) we are proud to present a storytelling workshop with Aron Hegarty of Candlelit Tales.

“The world is a story, we just need to know how to tell it best. Beginning with warm ups to loosen the artist within, we will set off on a journey through narration and find your own unique style of telling your tale. We are all storytellers after all, we are brought up on stories, we create stories and we frame the world through stories, so join us to find the storyteller within you and who knows what stories you might tell.”

Doors 6:45 | Workshop 7 pm | CBS Synge Street

€10 per workshop | €25 for the month | Free if it’s your first No Drama workshop

Workshop – 12/11/2019

Many thanks to Renee van de Schoor for running last week’s workshop at short notice so we take a rewind this week and present to you:

A (re)Introduction to Introductions with Johnny Shortall.

Like all great opening gambits this week’s workshop is a little late in getting to the point but has finally arrived!

“From establishing the setting, the characters and plot we will look at how to craft a compelling beginning, both through scripted work and improvisation, that keeps the audience on the very edge of their seat from the start.”

Postponed from last week we’re know that this one will be worth the wait.

Johnny Shortall is a No Drama theatre veteran, having directed, written and acted in numerous productions. He is currently operating as the production manager for Gaslight, our winter production.

Doors 6:45 | Workshop 7 pm | CBS Synge Street

€10 per workshop | €25 for the month | Free if it’s your first No Drama workshop

Workshop – 05/11/2019

The theme for the No Drama November Workshops storytelling and engaging your audience.

Our first facilitator of the month is none other than No Drama’s Johnny Shortall.

“An Introductions to Introductions. This week’s workshop will focus on where all good stories start, the beginning! From establishing the setting, the characters and plot we will look at how to craft a compelling beginning, both through scripted work and improvisation, that keeps the audience on the very edge of their seat from the start.”

Johnny Shortall is a No Drama theatre veteran, having directed, written and acted in numerous productions. He is currently operating as the production manager for ‘Gaslight’, our winter production.

Doors 6:45 | Workshop 7 pm | CBS Synge Street

€10 per workshop | €25 for the month | Free if it’s your first No Drama workshop

Workshop – 29/10/2019

Our final workshop of October takes place tomorrow at 7pm and, holy heck, do we have a doozie for you!

Renée van de Schoor will be leading us through devising and creating theatre through physicality.

“In this workshop we will explore elements of devising theatre: a method of theatre making in which the performance/piece originates from a collaborative working process.

Using physicality as the main tool, we will explore expression through physicality, creating collaborative work and mixing it together to create a devised piece.”

Renée van de Schoor graduated from the University of the Arts Utrecht, with a degree in Theatre and Education.

Throughout her studies, she directed several productions with a heavily physical component, and graduated with a completely devised production.

Renée has been extensively involved with No Drama Theatre, she gained experience both on stage and behind the scenes as director, actor and producer and in her current role as secretary in the group’s committee.

After directing a sell-out production of ‘And Then There Were None’, she produced ‘Closer’. Furthermore, she appeared as Woman in ‘The Virtuous Burglar’, Lilly and Lilith in ‘She Kills Monsters’ and in performance piece ‘Heed, to the Mound’ as part of Fringe Festival Dublin (photo). Renée was production manager of ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ and directed ‘Haven’ as part of Scene + Heard Festival 2019.

Most recently, she directed ‘Mistaken’ as part of Short + Sweet Festival Dublin, which was on in the Sean O’Casey Theatre last week.

Doors 6:45 | Workshop 7 pm | CBS Synge Street

€10 per workshop | €25 for the month | Free if it’s your first No Drama workshop

Workshop – 22/10/2019

We are so excited to announce that tomorrow’s workshop will be facilitated by the legend that is Ciaran Treanor.

“This workshop looks to explore physical theatre as a form of storytelling. Conveying a story using our bodies and expressions can lead to a compelling viewing experience for an audience. One which is not restricted by any language barriers. We will be looking at creating physical theatre together and some of the tools that can help us in doing so.”

Ciaran Treanor has been involved in theatre and No Drama for the last four and half years. He has performed in two main productions; ‘The Trial’ and ‘And There Were None’. He has also acted in shows by At Large Theatre and performed with the company in the Edinburgh Fringe festival. In 2017, he co-founded Gorgeous Theatre who produced three full length productions, of which he directed ‘June’ and ‘Somewhere Else’. Most recently he took on the role of Assistant Director for No Drama’s Summer production of ‘Kate Crackernuts’. 

Ciaran is a keen student of physicality and movement in performance, and the value it has in adding to the medium of theatre. 

Doors 6:45 | Workshop 7 pm | CBS Synge Street

€10 per workshop | €25 for the month | Free if it’s your first No Drama workshop

Workshop – 14/10/2019

A whole new week and we have a surprise for you!

Tomorrow’s workshop will be facilitated by the phenomenal Bryan Burroughs!

“For this evening we will build on the work from the previous workshop by examining two pieces of text from different playwrights with different physical challenges in each and explore how we might tackle them in professional rehearsal.

No previous experience required and I will bring the scenes with me. We will only work on short sections but the aim will be that everyone gets a go and can immediately put practical techniques we work on to use in their other scene work.”

Bryan trained at the Samuel Beckett Centre at Trinity College Dublin.

Noteworthy performances include My Foot/My Tutor with Articulate Anatomy (Best Male Performance at Dublin Fringe Festival 2004),Barabbas Theatre Company’s Johnny Patterson : The Singing Irish Clown ( Irish Times Theatre Award Best Supporting Actor 2009) and regularly performs his one man show Beowulf : The Blockbuster which originated as a Show In A Bag and has toured Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Australia, New York and was the number one success of the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 winning the STAGE Award for Acting Excellence.

Other notable productions include Act Without Words 2 by Samuel Beckett for Company SJ which most recently performed at the Barbican in London and the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. He also regularly performs in a two hander adaptation of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol with Aaron Monaghan which returned to The Ark for Christmas 2016 and tours annually. He played Quasimodo in Angela’s Ashes : The Musical in 2017 & 2019 and Lenehan in the returning production of James Joyce’s ULYSSES at The Abbey Theatre in an adaptation by Dermot Bolger and directed by Graham McLaren in Oct 2017 & July 2018

As director Bryan has directed Fight Night and The Games People Play and for RISE productions written by Gavin Kostick which won Best Actor and the Bewleys Little Gem Award at Dublin Fringe 2010 and Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2013 respectively.

As Movement Director recent productions include Druid’s Beauty Queen of Leenane, Umbrella’s Glowworm, Fishamble’s Inside The GPO, Yew Tree’s Alone It Stands, Pat Moylan’s Stones In His Pockets, Tarry Flynn, The Skriker at the Lir Academy, BrokenCrow’s Levin & Levin, at the Abbey Fool For Love, The Wake and for Second Age Hamlet and Macbeth

For RTE Bryan has appeared on RTE Jr’s The Beo Show teaching drama to young children, written four short stories for the Tell Me A Story series, written and performed a Christmas short story for the Cór Na Nóg Christmas Concert and directed Fight Night for RTE’s Radio Drama season

Bryan also teaches physical theatre at The Lir Academy of Dramatic Art in association with RADA.

Doors 6:45 | Workshop 7 pm | CBS Synge Street

€10 per workshop | €25 for the month | Free if it’s your first No Drama workshop

Workshop – 08/10/2019

We are super delighted to announce that tonight’s workshop will be facilitated by Gráinne Curistan.

Gráinne Curistan is the founder and artistic director of At Large Theatre Company, and has written, performed and directed for theatre for the past 15 years. In the last few years Gráinne has become increasingly interested in movement and its importance in theatre and was delighted to get the opportunity to focus on it as part of her M.Phil in Theatre and performance which she graduated from this year.

In this week’s workshop Gráinne will be looking at precision and image creation in movement and development of short movement based performances.

Doors 6:45 | Workshop 7 pm | CBS Synge Street

€10 per workshop | €25 for the month | Free if it’s your first No Drama workshop