For the latest news on our upcoming production, check out Dave McGowan’s Director’s Blog, where Dave is documenting the thoughts behind some of his decisions and the details of what is involved with planning and directing a production at:
Apologies for the lack of updates here folks, we’ve been incredibly busy trying to pick plays and hunting for directors and generally being so up to our eyeballs we’ve not been able to keep up.
We’ve got a couple of big announcements which have been posted elsewhere but we include here for completeness!
Next Production – Ecstasy by Irving Walsh (Adapted by Keith Wyatt)
After a very difficult review process the next production has been announced and audition notices sent out.
Ecstasy is an adaptation of a short story from the novel Ecstasy called the undefeated:
“The longest story, The Undefeated, presents slice-of-life episodes from the lives of two recreational drug users. Lloyd, an aging clubber, begins to question his life and considers the possibility of falling in love. Housewife Heather leaves her Dire Straits-loving suburban husband and starts a new life amongst the rave scene, where she meets Lloyd”
(Intandem attached to Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy).
The Director has also been chosen for Ecstasy, Dave McGowan who will be documenting his experiences on this blog. If you’re interesting in performing you can post a comment below and we’ll contact you with details.
expect a follow up post on how else you can get involved. John Cremer Guest appearance at Laughalot!
LAUGHALOT IMPROV is honoured to be joined by improvisation legend JOHN CREMER (all the way from the UK) for one night only this Thursday March 10th.
Founder of Brighton’s multi-award winning comedy improv. group ‘The Maydays’ and Fellow of ‘The Professional Speakers Association’, John Cremer is not only renowned for performing and teaching comedy improvisation, he’s even published books on it!
No Drama went to TedFest
LAUGHALOT IMPROV. (No Drama Theatre’s Comedy Improv. Team) were invited to perform at this year’s Tedfest, the annual Father Ted festival held on the Aran Islands. This is the first year that the festival will feature improv. and in keeping with the spirit of the festival the group were be billed as “The Unscriptured”.
Neil Curran,Maria Dillon,Ruari DeBurca and Declan Ryan did NoDrama Proud as did Alan Rogers who while not technically performing became a minor celebrity as Fr. Darth Vader while on the island.
It’s that time of year again where after the overindulgence on mince pies, Quality Street and turkey sandwiches have resulted in us craving to kick-start the New Year with something new and exciting to do as a resolution! Or maybe, you just always wanted to try a bit of acting!
Amateur drama is rife in Ireland. There are groups all over the countries from the urban sprawls to rural “post office and pub” villages. We have a passion for the dramatics in Ireland with some of the world’s finest playwrights coming from our humble land. The word “amateur” however is often a bit of a misnomer. Amateur suggests lacking in talent or professional in approach when quite often with many groups, it is quite often the opposite. Running a drama group and staging a production, no matter how small, is a very demanding task for everyone involved and successful drama groups learn very quickly the importance of teamwork, trust and commitment to the goal at hand. While having strong, well cast actors is the key ingredient to putting on a great show, the crew and team play a crucial role in bringing the director’s vision to the stage from being a stage hand or ticket checker on the night to sourcing props or costumes in the run up to a production. Each role no matter how small is a cog in the wheel.
With amateur theatre where many people juggle day jobs, budget and time are your 2 main obstacles.
But hard work aside, it’s great fun and very rewarding.
So why do people join drama groups and what do they get out of it? With No Drama Theatre, we have found members have joined for many reasons such as;
• A desire to act
• To improve performing skills
• To work behind the scenes
• A combination of the above
• A social outlet
However whether immediately realised or not, members have given us feedback that being part of the
group has also given:
• Boosted confidence and self esteem in other aspects of life
• Great understanding of staging a production and being involved in one
• Improved their communication skills including active listening
• Developed both teamwork skills and the ability to work on initiative
• Introduced them to new and cool friends!
What many people have said is that all of this is achieved through a fun and welcoming environment and because we run workshops twice weekly, personal development is in constant focus.
So this brings us back to the why you might be thinking of joining a drama group, be it No Drama Theatre or another group. I often hear from people or read on messages boards, people asking how they can get involved in drama groups and get to act on stage. The most common reply is, “Do as many auditions with as many groups as you can”. I personally believe that this is not always the best of advice.
Why is this? Well remember what I said earlier about the key factors that contribute to a drama group’s success? The importance of teamwork, trust and commitment. Your first step should be to join a drama group! Many groups are weary of people who only seem to appear around audition periods as it raises a question mark over commitment to the group. The director of a play will always want the best performer for a role, but he/she also needs to consider how the individual will mix with other performers and crew. Will an actor be on time, flexible and committed to the role? No different to a job interview, you can’t convey this in a short audition. However by getting involved in a group, attending workshops, helping out backstage when you are not cast in show, it all adds to the teamwork and spirit of the group.
One of No Drama’s longest members, Tom, once said to me over a pint, that when he was cast in his first play with the group, he was blown away by the commitment and effort put in by the production crew in bring the play to the stage. When it came to the auditions for our next play, Tom wasn’t available to audition and was due to be on holiday before the play would be staged. However Tom felt that it was important to fly home in time for the production to help out backstage when the play was running, to give back to other people what he had received when he was on stage. This kind of action captures the spirit of what No Drama Theatre and many other drama groups around the country are all about. It also helped boost Tom’s director’s and producer’s knowledge of Tom’s abilities and capabilities.
What Can I Expect When I Walk In The Door?
Joining a drama group can be scary. Many people have experienced joining a group only to find its very clicky or difficult to get accepted into the core group. With No Drama Theatre we strive to eliminate the “eliteness” often associated with drama groups and offer a level playing field for everyone. However all the positively affirming written words in the world doesn’t smash those nerves of walking in the door for the first time! But that’s all it takes, a first step. Remember everyone in the group had a first class/workshop at some stage. Have a chat to members, new and old. You’ll find that many people will have had similar reasons to you for joining. And finally and most importantly enjoy it!
Workshops are very important to developing your performing skills. If you aren’t doing formal training with a professional school, acting in plays alone won’t develop your skills to the extent you may think. I have had feedback from members who have said that the confidence and skills learned in our workshops have helped them get cast in plays/TV shows/films outside of No Drama. One of our member commented on an audition outside of No Drama, for a web series, The Covies, where the majority of the audition was to be improvised. He told me that had it not being for the improvisation exercises and workshops he had attended with No Drama, he would not have been prepared for the audition. He got the part too. That’s just one simple example of how beneficial workshops are if you want to develop your skills further.
So to close out, if you want to join a drama group? Go for it!
In fact, some say that the first Shindig took place in a stable over 2,000 years ago. In those days, of course, they used oil lamps for lighting effects and the bones of animal carcasses for sound effects and props.
Last night the savvy Sheila Dooley and Cathal O’Donovan used the very latest in theatrical production technology in the cosy Teachers’ Club to do justice to the 10 (ish) Shindiggerrific Acts taking to the stage.
There was the smell of aniticipation in the air, some people thought it was mince pies, as each member took to the stage. Some members teamed up to write their own plays, starting weeks ago and ending with applause from the sweaty audience. Others choose the lonely monologue route, Shane Robinson moved the audience with his emotional tale of love titled ‘Speechless’, Chris O’Reagan gave a strong and convincing performance drawing from an excerpt from ‘American Buffalo’ while Tom Murphy caused the audience to wipe away tears of pride in his own play ‘Mocking Birds’. There was a buffet of other 15 minute performances which were halariously performed and exectued with ease. ‘A Matter of Husbands’ by Ferenc Molnar (Translated by Benjamin Glazer) was directed and performed by Alan Rogers with the classy Paula Madden and wonderfully innocent Caoimhe Cooke reminding us all that we should remain suspicious of our men! The night was opened by a play written and directed by No Drama’s number one fan and favourite Jenny Byrne aka Dave MacGowans mrs, which sent shivers down the spine, acted by Declan Ryan, Brian Quinn and the ‘one line wonder’ Grainne O’Sullivan. Grainne also appeared alongside Dearbhla Lawlor, Rachel Byrne and Ann Hogan in ‘Revolting Women’ written by the yummy Joe Kearney inspired by a photography of 1916 Rebellion widows. This was a strong piece, by strong women which reminded us of our own lack of political passion today. ‘Out of the Frying Pan’ written and performed by Alan Rogers and Ruairi de Burca with acting support from Damien Holmes was earily familiar to many in the audience by presenting hell as your typical office scene, with paper pushing and endless typing…. !
The Couple was written, directed and performed by our very own Brian Quinn along side Angela Carlin. The piece was enough to put you off dating for life was was performed over the entire Shindig in fives scenes. Equally funny was ‘Murder by Midnight’ by Jeff Goode, directed by the sweet Sadie Sugarman and performed by David Fleming, Alan Fitzgerald and Ruth Lohrke. A play of murder, intrigue, more murder and a lady in a towel, had the crowd in stitches. Along a more serious theme but contining with the theme of professional murder, Mr. Suit himself, Neil Curran and Mr. I’m-getting-married-in-February, Dave McGowan, gave two strong performances from an excerpt from ‘Heat’, directed by Shane Robinson.
Greeting you as Front of House with smiles wider than an Irish Budget Deficit was Patrick O’Callaghan and the backstage crew were Maria Dillon and Ellen Hallinan.
Thanks to all who helped and took part and it was brilliant to see so many people who had not been on stage with No Drama before put in so much work!
Merry Chrimbo everyone and see you back at workshops on January 11th!
Saturday 18th December – Submission date now passed.
Not content with staging one production before Christmas, we want more! We’re not ashamed to brag about the oceans of talent oozing from our members so we are taking out our SHINDIG boots and wiping off the dust in preparation for another night of acts more varied than a Benetton ad.
As always the SHINDIG is a showcase night, where fully monthly paid up members (thats only 25 euros a month by the way) have the opportunity to perform, write or direct a short pieces of their choosing (up to 15 minutes in length) in front of an audience. The date is Saturday December 18th at 7:30pm in the Teachers Club!
Invite your friend, family, foe or feline and wow them with your talents onstage. This will be follwed by our Chrimbo party where we once again pat each other on the back and say how great we are, just in time for Santy.
We were treated to a surprise visit by Sir. Terry Pratchett himself just a few hours before we took to the stage for a sold out opening night at the Teachers’ Club, Parnell Sq., Dublin last Wednesday, November 3rd.
Sir Pratchett, having recently joined staff at Trinity College as an adjunct professor of English, was visiting Dublin and noticed the amateur production was coincidentally running this week. He requested a visit early last week which was kept secret from the cast until just before opening night!
Taking the time to meet each of the cast and crew members he joked about the various actors in the past who had played the roles of the characters he had created in his multi-million selling Discworld® novel series. I think we can say that everyone was suitable amazed by this gentleman and it will be a moment that many of us in No Drama Theatre will cherish!
We are delighted to announce the date of our second Shindig of 2010, on Saturday December 18th at 7:30pm! As always the Shindig is a showcase night, where members have the opportunity to perform short pieces for their choosing of up to 15 minutes in length in front of an audience. So if you have a script you have written or you would like to try to direct something or you just want a chance to perform on stage, then now is the time to get your act together! (excuse the pun!)
We encourage members to have a chat to your fellow ‘Dramites’ and work together on a putting something together, be it established or original. If you are unsure of what to do, please approach any of us on the committee and we may be able to recommend a suitable piece.
The closing date to register to take part is 1pm on Friday 12th November but we ask that you register earlier if possible. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org If you are performing a piece with other people then there is no need to register individually, one registration is fine. When registering you need to include the following:
Your name (duh!)
Name of piece and whether it is an original piece.
Other performers (where relevant)
Director (if known or put your own name in if you want to try directing yourself)
Please include a copy of the script where the piece is an original work.
Each group will be assigned a mentor to assist them with rehearsals etc.
We do have a few rules and guidelines to be aware of for the Shindig:
Shindig performers must be members of No Drama
Performers/groups are responsible for securing any performance rights relevant for their chosen pieces. We can assist where possible
Pieces must be no longer than 15 minutes
Remember to keep your set requirements to a minimum!
It’s a date for your diary folks, the Shindig will also be the night of our Christmas party!
Magical paraphenalia and forests cost money and these days witches are requesting the latest labels…….
In light of this (and our need to boast about how smart we are) we’re holding a Table Quiz on Wednesday the 20th October in 4 Dame Lane at 7.30pm to fundraise for our next production Terry Pratchetts ® ‘Wyrd Sisters’.
Come along and show your support (€10 per person) There’ll be awesome raffle prizes (for the “not-so-clever-but-still-lucky” peeps) and you might even have some fun. Or just point and laugh at our MC Alan Rogers.
If anyone would like to donate any prizes you can drop any of us an email.
‘Terry Pratchett ’ and ‘Discworld’ are registered trademarks.