Friday, 4 December 2015

ALL THUMBS... My new play

PUT THE DATE IN YOUR CALENDAR! 

all thumbs, the first read through today!
February 29th - yes, it's Leap Year (I've told my teenage daughter that even if she asks and even if someone says yes, the answer is no!) - to March 12th, 2016; a total of 22 shows in two weeks.

all thumbs is a mad play, really. It's a love story about a woman who steals a thumb from a lab, grows a man from it and then keeps that man hostage....

Yes.

It stars the wonderful comic actress Julie Lockey. The first time I heard her read an early version, I nearly wept. She is that good.

So put the date in your diary. It's a central venue - the International Bar Theatre, Wicklow Street.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Waking the Feminist! Abbey Theatre 12/11/2015

Yesterday, in the Abbey Theatre, on the main stage, history was made.

But it was also made on the street outside and in the lobby and it was made by such a large body of people with an excitement and energy I have rarely felt before.

It was infectious. It felt momentous. As if this energy and frustration and the need to make things better, to be heard, to be treated as equals had been buried for generations, under frustration and the reluctant acceptance that that was just the way it was.

The speakers were profound and passionate, some spoke from a depth of experience of the gender bias - and yes, it is there and it's systemic; so many of the stories felt familiar to me; others belonged to the more recent wave of theatre practitioners and creatives.

I can't begin to sum up the content of the 32 speeches. About the frustration, the imbalance of power, the fundamental inequality throughout the arts. It's in the statistic and it's in the stories.

Theatre programming where "dead men take precedence over live women"....of being assertive and therefore labelled 'high maintenance/ diva/ ball breaker'. As designer, Zia Holly said, she was told that she could do anything that boys can do. Which was great. But now she was asking, "Why did I have to be told that? Boys don't get told they can do anything girls can do... I have inherently known that I had to prove myself".

Emma Jordan, Artistic Director, Prime Cut Theatre, was quoted as saying: "Maybe we had one eye open and one eye shut and we are all wide awake now!"

The gender bias is so insidious, it's often not intentional. It 'just is'. To paraphrase Ali White, actor and writer, it seeps into us by osmosis, makes us doubt ourselves. "This has to be the start of something better," she said. As Eleanor Methven, actor and founder of Charabanc Theatre Co. said, it could be The Oestrogen Rising!"

I was speaking recently in a debate in Trinity College, Dublin's Hist Society. "That this house should only consume art created by women." Yes, it was provocative and I was... it's the joy of debating! But when you look at the stats, when you hear the stories, when I looked at my own experience of writing and working in theatre, film, tv, animation, games, setting up a company, producing, directing,,,,  it wasn't hard to find my own stories of the pervasive, destructive and systemic gender bias.


As Olwyn Foure said in a speech delivered by Aoife Duffin yesterday:" This is a great moment... and a shameful moment".

Because it has taken so long.



I wrote my first play back in 1983; writing for theatre is where my heart resides in so many ways which is why I've produced and directed recently in order to get my plays out there and will do so again. But the fantastic and wonderful and amazing thing about yesterday is that now the game changes. It feels today as if the ground fundamentally shifted yesterday and that felt fantastic and exciting.





Saturday, 15 August 2015

Fried Eggs: Some of the great reviews

Four great reviews for Fried Eggs;  in No More Workhorse, Librarian's Cellar, The Public Review and Unforgettable Lines...

The play runs until August 22nd in Theatre Upstairs. Tues - Sat @7pm with matinees on Weds and Sats @ 1pm. 

You can book via www.theatreupstairs.ie/book-now, by phoning 085 772 7375 or emailing info@theatreupstirs.ie.



Review # 1: The Librarian's Cellar. (By Caroline Farrell); 
11 August 2015

Eloise, a timid and ladylike soul, is getting tired of being confronted by the male conquests of her more adventurous sister, Lulu. And though perhaps he might just be the fix they each need to move on, the last thing Eloise wants now is to meet Lulu's latest conquest...
A very powerful one-woman show, produced by Moonstone Productions, written and directed by Lindsay Sedgwick, and starringKaren Connell, the writing is powerful, the subject matter gripping, and the performance by Karen is winsome and compulsive. There are layers to be peeled, depths to be reached and meanings to make and all three are accomplished without unnecessary adornments and distracting props; all senses are focused as the world in which Eloise finds herself trapped unfolds...
This is the first time Lindsay has directed, and on writing the play, she explains that it came about when she originally brought a much shorter early draft to the Attic Studio Dublin for a night of audition pieces. 'Everyone was talking about it and it seemed there were as many questions about the two sisters as there was life in the characters. So I wrote a bit more...'
A brave and engaging piece of theatre, do yourself a favour and take some time to see it. Fried Eggs runs from Tuesday, 11th - 22nd August [Tuesday to Saturday, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday]
Review # 2: No More Workhorse (By Frank L) ; 
12th August 2015

The set is just the back wall draped in a plain fabric and two metal chairs placed facing away from each other. Eloise (Karen Connell) sits on one of the chairs as the audience assembles. A ticking, clicking sound indicates the beginning. This sound is used subsequently and effectively to define the three different acts. When she stands, Connell reveals herself to be svelte and statuesque, accentuated by her long, knee-length, white shirt and bare feet. She is somewhat remote in appearance, unobtainable.
Eloise describes her relationship with her identical twin sister Lulu who is far more outgoing than she is. She smiles far more often. Smiling is an issue for Eloise as the mother had views about smiling. And then there is Dan who works in a chipper, who has hairy arms, and from whom Eloise orders three fried eggs.
In a finely written script, Connell brings to life each of the characters. Her technique is low key, voice rarely raised. She speaks each word with precision. She varies the pace. She allows the comedy and disappointments in the text to emerge naturally. She brings you into the world of Eloise, her likes, dislikes and her needs. They are not that unusual other than that they are complicated by the smiling presence of her identical twin sister, Lulu who dominates her life.
Although the piece is under an hour in duration, the combination of the quality of the text and the authoritative but calm delivery of it by Connell ensures that the world of Eloise is displayed in all of its fragile uncertainties. Connell, in her creation of Eloise, has created an empathetic individual who is to an extent an observer but also well capable of being a participant when the need arises. As a result she and Sedgwick have combined to create a piece of theatre of some moment.

Review # 3: Unforgettable Lines by Yana Petrovka
13 August 2015


Just as the beautiful Theatre Upstairs closes its doors for the duration of the Dublin Fringe Festival’15, we are in for a real treat. The last piece of the season is surely going to be one of the most memorable ones. Moonestone Productions present the world premier of Fried Eggs written and directed by Lindsay Jane Sedgwick.

This slow-paced, deeply emotional and very organic play tells us a story of “two selves”. Lulu and Eloise are twin sisters… or at least, that’s what they want you to think, she even has a picture to prove it. The play is divided into three short pieces: first we meet Eloise, who, even though timid and socially awkward, is the rational one, the practical one, the good sister – fixer of all problems; in the second part we are introduced to Lulu. Lulu is the crazy one, the dark angel, the problem maker; the third and final part reunites the sisters together both physically and emotionally. Hint by hint by hint by the story unravels into a great childhood trauma.
Both Lulu and Eloise are portrayed by the undoubtedly very talented Karen Connell. The actress doesn’t act on stage; she simply let’s her character be there… and I don’t know whether it’s the genius of Lindsay Jane Sedgwick’s work or the way Connell embodied and presented to us her character. The play is extremely naturalistic, it makes you forget that there is an actress on stage and you are actually in a theatre. Connell and her emotions are so real and so human that one can’t help but feel empathy towards Eloise and Lulu. Every word she says, every movement she makes, every laugh, every cry, every change of mood is so organic and simply beautifully human. And just as the character herself prefers blue sky to black clouds, Connell as Eloise/Lulu herself converts into a sort of a human lantern that guides the audience through the dark to hope and the possibility of something better and brighter.
With the set consisting of two chairs and a white curtain, it really never ceases to amuse and amaze me how little a good performance requires. Build a set a big as a Roman coliseum but if the act is a bluff, nobody will even notice the entourage. Put a chair and a human being next to it, speaking from his or her very heart and the audience will follow you anywhere.
This season in Theatre Upstairs has been full of really different new pieces. It seems like the new writers tend to go for the challenging fast-paced productions (and god knows, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed most of them!) where the audience, let alone the actors, can barely breathe or reflect on what’s happening on stage. But sometimes it can be so rewarding to see a slow-paced show, in which it feels like the actor is communicating with you personally, you listen to their stories and, even though you might have nothing to say, you still have time to think, to follow, to breathe, to enjoy…
Fried Eggs runs in Theatre Upstairs till August 22nd. Catch it before it ends:http://www.theatreupstairs.ie/fried-eggs

Review # 4  : The Public Review
16th August 2015


Writer: Lindsay Jane Sedgwick
Director: Lindsay Jane Sedgwick
Reviewer: David Keane

Eloise (Karen Connell) is the classic good girl, bordering on prim and proper. Her twin sister Lulu is brash and adventurous, the original good time had by all. Lulu’s exploits constantly return to harass the timid Eloise, who is usually left to pick up the pieces after Lulu’s had her fun. Presently, this fun takes the form of the hairy-armed guy with oddly beautiful fingernails who works at the local chipper.

In the first of three short acts, each heralded by a ticking clock, Eloise speaks about her sister, her speech dotted with humorous anecdotes but also with hints of darkness beneath the surface. The audience learns of Lulu’s adventures and of the sister’s mother, a force that was central to the girls’ lives. Similarly, the second act hears from Lulu, who is unaware of what has sister has just spoken of. Lulu relays her version of events, albeit in a more dramatic and vivacious manner than Eloise. Both roles are played by Connell in a casual and naturalistic way, who presents as a striking figure in a long white shirt on the stark stage. 

Connell allows the story to flow without being forceful in any way, strengthened by Sedgwick’s direction. The storytelling can be a bit floral, with some of Eloise and Lulu’s speech being superfluous to the story itself however this does, at times, lend itself to the naturalistic feel of the piece.  Connell’s portrayal of this monozygotic pair is broken up when she briefly, and hilariously, speaks the part of the local chip shop guy, who may or may not turn out to be Eloise and Lulu’s saviour.

Aoife Fealy’s simple set of two chairs, back to back, against a backdrop of drapes works well in tandem with Brian Murray’s functional lighting. Neither distracts from Connell’s performance and allows the story to unfold without any obvious reliance on additional sources.

In any tale of deeply connected characters with opposing traits, from The Great Gatsby to Fight Club (which are the same story in different eras), the first question that comes to mind will always be: are these characters one and the same. Fried Eggs doesn’t shy away from this, and as the story progresses embraces it. Sedgwick’s script plays with the fragility of the human psyche whilst also engaging the audience for its 60 minute running time. This is, beneath the surface, a complex tale of how we either consciously or unconsciously deal with trauma and the impact it can have on our lives.






Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Fried Eggs... one last rehearsal and we open!

Can't believe Opening Night is here but it is! Looming large. Hungry to get to it now -- but glad it won't be me on stage, just my words! Some pics from rehearsals during the week and the set/ lighting build on Sunday.

We run 11-22nd, Tues to Sat @ 7pm; matinees @ 1pm on Weds and Sats. Book now online  www.theatreupstairs.ie, by phone:  +353 (0)85 772 7375 or email info@theatreupstairs.ie
Karen Connell: When the stage isn't big enough,
grab the back row and sing


Brian Murray deciphering footlight spaghetti

Aoife Fealy, Set Design & Suzie Cummins, Stage Manager







Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Fried Eggs... On directing your own lines

"I remain still... Still as a knuckle sandwich in a snowstorm when you don't know who to fight..."

Exploring character with Suzanna Geraghty
I wrote Fried Eggs without thinking of every word. Many words, sentences, even entire sequences just 'felt right'. Deep in my gut, they worked.

But the thing about directing is that suddenly every one of those words has meaning, sometimes several depending on the breathing behind the line, the pauses, the material before and after, the interpretation of character, the physical presence and every phrase needs to be understood organically, viscerally, often deep in the bones.

Some lines will change and the change will feel right because rehearsing is a collaboration and working with the amazing actress Karen Connell makes that a really fulfilling process, but others are part of the heart of the piece, the magic and the understanding needs to feel real. In her gut, not mine.
Worn out by rehearsals...


As director, you're meant to help the actor(s) get to that understanding... You step back from your work and are suddenly challenged to understand everything.

Most of it is there. You created the characters so you should know them well, but others come from some creative space and are less easy to explain.

So try these from Fried Eggs... and they are NOT the most difficult:

"He snarls the way some people can pirouette in a shower without falling over or flooding the bathroom or accidentally killing his partner with the shower nozzle."

Eloise. Lulu. Photo by Claire-Jeanne Nash
"Three eggs... like suns in a moon cloud..."

Then come to see the play and see what Karen has achieved in becoming Eloise and Lulu, two sisters with very different attitudes to life.

DATES AND TIMES:
 11th – 22nd August at Theatre Upstairs, Eden Quay, Dub 1
Tuesday – Saturday @7.00PM
(11-15th August, 18 – 22nd )
Wednesday + Saturday (matinee) @ 1.00PM
(12th, 15th, 19th + 22nd August)

CAST
Karen Connell -  Eloise + Lulu

CREATIVE TEAM
Lindsay J Sedgwick – Writer/ Director
Aoife Fealy – Set Design
Brian Murray - Lighting Design
Sue Cummins – Stage Manager
Julie Lockey - Production Assistant
Oliver Cronin – Visual Media Design

BOOK NOW
PHONE / +353 (0)85 772 7375

TICKETS
Euro 10.00/ 8.00
Opening offer: all tickets 7.50 on Tuesday August 11th
20% off for groups of 10+

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Contact                 Lindsay J Sedgwick, Moonstone Productions; +353 (0) 86 1663363
Email:                    Ljsedgwick66@gmail.com
Facebook:            www.facebook.com/friedeggsplay
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/friedeggsplay
Auditioning mirrors: Early days when the mirror was an important image - two sisters, two sides of one coin; what we see, how we understand reality and ourselves... all crucial themes.



Thursday, 30 July 2015

Fried Eggs... what's it all about...

Fried Eggs... starring Karen Connell. On Tuesday, 11th of August we open in Theatre Upstairs... running until the 22nd. 

The posters arrived two days ago - stunning design by Oliver Cronin with wonderful photographs by Claire-Jeanne Nash. 

An idea that was hatched on a wet day in January - to see one of my one-woman plays staged - is suddenly very tangible and very real -- and a little bit scary !  
"Dignity is over-rated and cruel, says Lulu."

We started rehearsing on a wet day just over four weeks ago in Galway, never realising it was a rollercoaster we were climbing on board!

A tiny taste of the play:  


“He snarled the way some people can pirouette in a shower without falling over or flooding the bathroom or accidentally killing their partner with the shower nozzle.” 




Day 1 of rehearsals: makeshift props and so many words to learn!

So what is it about?

Fried Eggs is a bizarre love story about two unusual sisters and one very understanding man. Eloise spends her life consoling men her sister Lulu has slept with and dumped. If Lulu could only be a little more inhibited, that might make Eloise’s life a bit easier. When Eloise loses her job because of Lulu, the last thing she wants is to meet her sister’s latest conquest, Brendan. 

But then again, Brendan might be the one person who can make everything right.




"Lulu. My name is Lulu." Photo by Claire-Jeanne Nash
Fried Eggs runs from11th – 22nd August at Theatre Upstairs
Tuesday – Saturday @7.00 pm
(11-15th August, 18 – 22nd )
Wednesday + Saturday (matinee) @ 1.00 pm
(12th, 15th, 19th + 22nd August)

CAST
Karen Connell -  Eloise + Lulu

CREATIVE TEAM
Lindsay J Sedgwick – Writer/ Director
Aoife Fealy – Set Design
Brian Murray - Lighting Design
Sue Cummins – Stage Manager
Oliver Cronin – Visual Media Design

VENUE
Theatre Upstairs
10-11 Eden Quay
Dublin 1

BOOK NOW
PHONE / +353 (0)85 772 7375

TICKETS
Euro 10.00/ 8.00
Opening offer: all tickets 7.50 on Tuesday August 11th
20% off for groups of 10+

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Contact           Lindsay J Sedgwick, Moonstone Productions; +353 (0) 86 1663363
Email:              Ljsedgwick66@gmail.com
Facebook:       www.facebook.com/friedeggsplay
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/friedeggsplay



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Fried Eggs.... The Countdown begins!

Two weeks from today, we will be in Theatre Upstairs putting up our set and lighting design and creating the setting in which Karen Connell will create the magic using my script, Fried Eggs. It's a pretty scary and yet exhilarating moment to stop and smell the roses. Before dashing off to another rehearsal!

Fried Eggs began life because the Attic Studio Dublin were doing a night of audition pieces. I went a bit mad and came up with two short pieces. They were meant to be 2 minutes long - my second script (the one that became Fried Eggs) ended up being closer to 20! But everyone was talking about it and it seemed there were as many questions about the two sisters as there was life in the characters. So I wrote a bit more.

And a bit more again.

And there it was!

And here we are. A fantastic creative team has formed around the play...

Aoife Fealy, Set Design
Brian Murray, Lighting Design
Suzie Cummins, Stage Manager
Oliver Cronin, Visual Media Design
Julie Lockey, Production Assistant

The poster should be ready early next week and it looks stunning, featuring wonderful photos taken by Claire-Jeanne Nash just last month!

BOOKING INFO -- THE IMPORTANT NEXT PART!!

Fried Eggs runs from 11th - 22nd August; Tuesday to Saturday @ 7pm ; Weds and Sats @ 1 pm. Tickets are 10/ 8 euro.

ONLINE / www.theatreupstairs.ie/book-now
PHONE / +353 (0)85 772 7375

EMAIL / info@theatreupstairs.ie


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Fried Eggs -- it's official! The announcement poster has been published

It's official - the poster is up and out there!

Thanks to Theatre Upstairs and to Claire Jeanne Nash for the photographs and Oliver Cronin for the announcement poster and banner design.


It's a bizarre love story about two unique sisters and one very understanding man, starring the fabulous Donegal actress, Karen Connell.



Rehearsals begin in a little over a week and I can't wait to get my teeth into it!

Monday, 13 April 2015

FRIED EGGS... my new play






The wonderful photographer Claire Jeanne Nash turned my house into a series of little studios for the day and took some fantastic shots of Karen Connell, the star of the show.

The first batch of Claire's pictures are just downloading onto my computer as I type this but we have to hold them back for posters and banners and stuff that will make you desperate to see the show!!


(Put the dates in the diary: Theatre Upstairs Eden Quay, Dublin 1; August 11th - 22nd.)






Monday 13th April 2015

"As a piece of theatre, as a piece of writing, it is absolutely beautiful..."

I have to write that down and put it out there because it is soooo wonderful when, as a writer, you hear a response like this. That it came from the theatre manager who can - and wants to programme the play so that I'm only now waiting to confirm dates, it was like nectar!

Watch this space!




Monday, 30 March 2015

Monday 13TH April - next CAN event

The next Creatives in Animation Network event is on Monday 13th April, thanks to Roasted Brown Cafe whose space we will be inhabiting within the Filmbase building on Curved St, Dublin 2. It starts at seven, ends at nine and is the first for 2015.

Looking forward to seeing old faces and new -- let me know if you're coming along so I can keep an eye on numbers.

If you want to know more about the group, have a look at the dedicated page on this blog: Creatives in Animation Network. You can also find us on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Monday Afternoon in a Dublin Warehouse..


 Yesterday afternoon in a warehouse in Dublin, a collection of talented individuals came together to start making something that will help bring one of my plays alive and, hopefully, to a theatre audience...

Not sure how much I can say right now but it is beginning!
Nicola Lindsay as Mam, such a glamorous role as you can see by the fantastic costume! Ken Fletcher as Kevin, looking far too happy. Peter Bodie, Producer, surviving us all. Martin Curley, DP/ Camera Man lurking behind the light and Lauren Shannon-Jones, who assisted on the shoot, somewhere out of frame - probably working while we all malinger? 

Okay, Martin Curly, our (can I say that?) camera man is looking very happy indeed but producer Peter Bodie looks as if he can't understand whey he's not being filmed too....

Speech bubbles/ captions please...

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Opportunities.... 2015 is an interesting year!

Having spent most of Christmas trying to work out how to take better control over my working life, several interesting and unexpected things happened...

I was invited down to UCC's MA in Creative Writing to talk about Writing for the Digital Media (16th Feb)...

I've never done this before - it's still one of my newest and most exciting areas of work. And who was inviting me? Mary Morrissey, a wonderful writer I last met 30 years ago on Arlen House's - remember that women's publisher? - inaugural Women's Writing Workshops. Eavan Boland ran it, we even had a session with Seamus Heaney. He liked four lines in the middle of a 40 line poem; so, as I translated it, he liked 10 percent of my work!

Bonus prize - I got to hear Zadie Smith and Nick Laird (both very witty, funny and unpretentious performers and people!) reading at the Uni and then to join them for a wonderful meal  - there was even chocolate and chilli soup!  

In frustration, in early January, I put out a notice that I had two one woman one-act plays and got a rake of interest from fantastic actors, a couple of producers... Then I remembered I actually had a third - which then got interest as well, while the fourth one that Aoife Moore performed in Smock in 2013 suddenly led me to think "Festival of One-Act One-Woman Plays"! -- while two contacts led to two other plays being dusted off....

In the heel of the hunt, from one little Facebook message, I had six plays that people wanted to produce, one of which has a team around it and is applying for the Fringe Festival.

I also got invited to talk at the KeyFrame Festival run by Colaiste Dhulaigh's animation department and to design a couple of courses for Galway.

And all this came on top of the chaos that is my normal working life -- I'm guessing this is Karma - showing me that I work best when I am furiously juggling a dozen projects.

Now to go work on some dialogue for elves, some gameplay that will help children learn facial expressions, design a few new courses and some audition-workshops and make a very large cafetiere of very strong coffee!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Lizzie Gillett, Digital Biscuit and me!

Just been asked to moderate a chat with Liz Gillett at Digital Biscuit next Thursday morning. She's the producer of the amazing 2009 blockbuster about climate change, the docu-animation-drama, The Age of Stupid.

Love these opportunities to meet interesting people, even if it is over a Skype link! When I was a journo many moons ago, that was my favourite work too - interviewing people, finding out something about them that maybe other people didn't see or even merely asking them questions that every other journo who was rolled in for their half hour slot, didn't think to ask.

To get to know them. Just a little bit!

Here's a lovely interview about the film with Pete Postlethwaite