Ain’t we in for a Corker!

So the Get-in has begun! And while I sit in the techbox, watching Joe and Ciara light up our show, I wait. I play the waiting game. For what? I can’t say.

No, I can.  A quick blog post before hitting up Kerry to sort out prop storage and bus transport!

So we all piled into the bus and car at 3pm yesterday afternoon, after a great run in Galway, warmly played to friends and strangers alike! Including several French people and the son and daughter of Patrick Galvin himself, the latter of whom is bringing a big crowed with her to our Cork show tonight. What a cool run of a show Galway was. Including a performance on Oisin Robbins’ birthday, during which, he snook an angry cry of celebration into the mob scene unbeknownst to the onlookers! This birthday also included a cake on the following night! Where we surprised Oisin with a cake onstage in the middle of a scene. Ah, to fuck with and keep actors on their toes. A special gift I give to them indeed. 🙂 Looking forward to Patrick Galvin’s birthday in Ballinasloe, cupcakes for all who attend!! Marred only by an early morning in Dublin the following day! Oh well! As is the nature of a tour. Sleeping in transit, that’s what it is!

So we had a lovely lark in Supermacs after our last Galway show, our get-out leaving us only to locked doors of the lovely Galway Arms. -A blessing in disguise for the actors I’d say. Everyone was knackered.

Thus began the trip to Cork! The entire trip dotted with me exclaiming everything was a moose, and the gang on the bus trying to decide when and where we can hold our ceremonial, end-of-the-Southern-Leg-of-the-tour burning of Muireann.

I’m now currently waiting for the cast and crew to get back from a lunch break. I cleverly timed my breaks to when they are gone, ensuring that I am at work when they leave and  return… thus looking as though I am an unstoppable machine. It’s good to build terror in the hearts of your co-workers. So I’ll leap back to my notes of entrances and exits and transitions before they get back, feign a meek yawn, or a sigh when asked to press a button to assist the technicians and carry on, tirelessly, to their wonder and awe… I am a genius. A non-productive genius.

Anyway, lemme tell ya this: Things go awry so fancifully!

Since arriving in Cork, several transport issues have bubbled! We got here about half an hour later than expected, meaning that once we got in, the Cork Arts Theatre was closed so we couldn’t store our set, costume and props at the venue. Meaning only one thing, LUGGAGE OVERLOAD for all involved. Each person had to take on a piece or set, or prop or costume, and bring it to the domicile of those with whom they stayed.

Thanks to the lovely Jamie Hooper, and Laura Hicks and her family, everyone was housed, and now so was every THING.

The production team stayed at Jamie’s in the city, for an early get-in and deliciously-hilarious-breakfast-banter-in-the-early-morning-rain, along with all of the set. Bags and bags of soil, rakes of rakes, and kilos of material, while Laura, in her car, took every single costume and prop. This of course was much too heavy causing ThereisBear!’s first fault of car breakdown. Her car is now in the garage and the entire cast, half an hour away from the city by car, must now bus it in from her house, courtesy of her fantastic family.

Please God, no one will be too furious and these stupid slip-ups. Hence, meticulous attention to where props and shit go from now on and not to assume anything at the risk of abiding by the ‘make an ass out of you and me’ law.

Needless to say transport became a bit of a mess, so. But I’m thinking hiring small buses to bring the gang to Laura’s from the city, and to store everything in the theatres, hell or high water. Thankfully it’s just transport and storage as opposed to several other things too! *touch wood.*

Phone calls to be made. Let us hope we’re greeted as warmly as we were in Galway to give a bit of a buzz!

Onward and Upward!

The first Burning

August 3rd.

 

….It’s late. Maybe midnight. The actors, after their long 14 hours were sent home to get their sleep for opening night. The night is still. Crisp. Quiet. And Rory Kitt lays his head down to rest. Bones aching. Mind pummelled. Body exhausted. A sigh, a yawn of relief. The lights go out, and Rory’s head hits the pillow after the tech run of The Last Burning, the story of Bridget Cleary’s murder by fire. The twin room goes to sleep…

But then. A loud sigh. A strange breath.

Rory sits bolt upright… It wasn’t him, anyway…
“Dad?” He calls. Maybe his father decided to stay in the other bed..? No response. He checks outside. Passers by maybe? But no sign. The room, the house, the street, empty. Nobody. Just Rory.

Heart pounding, he takes one final look around. Alone, but barely. He tucks himself tightly into his covers, to try and regain what sleep is left: It begins.

August 6th

Preview done, Opening night behind us… And the show has begun. Thankfully, we got more or less an open house for our first official show. Success. Standing ovation no less. Let’s hope it gets better and better.

We begin our final day in familiar territory today. Nuns Island has been very kind to us, as has Mark “Banger” Byrne, and all at the Galway Arts Centre. So supportive and helpful!

The past few days have been hectic, and each night ends at 3am, feeling as though I’ve been hit by a transit van made of chocolate. Exhausted, broken bodied, and happy. 🙂

We spent all Friday in our ten hour tech. The most painless tech I’ve ever experienced, thanks to Joe Mc Evoy and our fantastic team of talented and patient actors. Needless to say, in the true style of those that birthed the company, there have been last minute moments, choices and so on! Rehearsing the set changes twenty minutes before the show, just to be sure we all have it. Hilariously alive-keeping, no doubt.

I was honoured to have Grainne and MacDara Galvin, the daughter and son of the playwright, attend our preview, with stellar feedback! Thank God they enjoyed it! I loved chatting with them about their father, to know more about the man who gave us this powerful play. Learning that he himself was fairly creepy and into spooky stories and Irish Mythology. Sam’s would-be best friend, so, I’m sure! The show was greeted with warm applause and a full house in the Galway Arms to celebrate the begining of the longest run-up to a show for some of us thus far! It’s been a long, long road, difficult, yet rewarding. Fun, though challenging!

So Flynn and Quilty are killing the crowds every night. Watching Rory and Oisin, and then Sam and Oisin, is simply the funniest thing a director could ask for in this play. I end up in fits laughing in the tech box at their village gomery.

So where to next, Hanbox?! To the rolling hills of CORK!

That’s right! Off to Patrick Galvin’s homeland for our first out-of-home venue! Wednesday and Thursday, the 8th and 9th to bring The Last Burning HOME!

More to come now, apologies for the brief blog, but work she’s always crawlin forward!

 

Hannahbear

Good morning, Good MOOOOOOOORNING!

Who knew a cheeky blog entry could be such divilment?

No one! That’s who!

Well, it’s 7.10 am and I’m taking a quick break from the last hour of PRing and proof-reading our programme for the printers tomorrow a bit, to keep you guys in the loop. …Nothing beats the peaceful sounds of rubbish bins being emptied by the somber clanking and clunking, metal machines, I’ll tell you that for nothing! So now, to the clicking of the keys on my defunct keyboard, my belly begins to rumble!  Needless to say this early hour of work, and trying to come up with innovative ways to talking about the show online has lead to a few distractions…

…is that the sun?

Yes! IT IS THE SUN!

Run away! Run from the sun!

These were taken at about 6 this morning!

So Pierce Cunnane really did an amazing job thus far with our beautiful programmes -which (I apologise in advance) will be a euro or two each! But wow! A sneaky peak you say? NEVER! Come see our show, this is beautiful stuff right here!  He’s the designer, also plays for this band http://www.facebook.com/Underwaterpicnic, and has been working tirelessly with Mr. Martin to keep this thing on track.

So printing thus far was a bit of a nightmare, but our posters are here! A3s, A0s in all their MAMMOTH glory!

QUICK! PRAISE GOD! :3

These things are monsters! I could roll around in them, or have Muireann use them as a duvet! Getting them places is the problem. I gotta get three of these bad boys to Cork, one to Kerry and three to Dublin! including all our little A5s, which I have now dubbed the bugs of the posters. 5000 flyers is a glorious thing indeed!  I bathed in them. No, I didn’t, they haven’t arrived yet, but that would be cool. Paper cut nation. So publicity has become a big priority now. Dad is just kicking ass, with ideas for it. Signs outside for coming into town and whatnot!

That and costumes actually… We found bronzer in the bathrooms in college. Blaney’s coat now glitters slightly… Somewhere out there is a pissed off pale girl that I owe a cuppa!

I also got to check out Canavan’s pub! Small, but god, that’ll be a fun gig! Just 20 people dallying around, having the laugh, in this nook upstairs! I’m thinking that’ll be our best show what with the intimacy. We’ve a three day get-in rehearsal tomorrow in the BOI, which I’m really looking forward to. Please God that’ll be where the miracles happen. We’re a few days behind with blocking, though we got to do our first run the day before yesterday! Thankfully, Sam is taking over with some scenes, and polishing stuff. God, a fresh pair of eyes makes all the difference.He’s got some keen eye. To the extent that I wish he was more publicly acclaimed within the show. I CAN’T WAIT for his season directing. Interesting to say the least…

By the way, how hilarious is this?

(found from lolbrary)

Eimear Durnin posted it to me on facebook. This thing has been getting me through the sterner moments of the show… Look at her expression! What a gem!

Oh! And I got a gift! From the beautiful Aoife Noone who starred in Rewind by Claudia O’Sullivan not but yesterday! How lovely! It’s a play called What happened Bridgie Cleary, which follows Bridgets story in an entirely different way from Patrick Galvin altogether:

http://www.amazon.com/What-Happened-Bridgie-Cleary-Playscript/dp/1904301843

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2005/apr/29/theatre1

So our more current news, for you lovely readers is this class raffle we’re holding! And will continue to be holding throughout the Galway run. FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A CAMERA FOR THREE BUCKS. We’re aiming to raise 500 euro from it, and it is so amazing how nice people have been about it! Donations left right and centre, to ensure people are well rewarded for their donations! Thanks guys! Buy a ticket for goodness sake! What’s three more euro as they say?

…who is this they?!

Special Kudos also going out to our unreal countdown thing Martin’s doing! I absolutely love it! We have bits of it in our programme too.

I think this is my favourite! -That and I don’t have ‘5 days’ yet!

Okay, I really should get back to work!

Hannahbear

The Last Hurdles

Well if is hasn’t been forever, am I right?

What’s new in the world of Bear? I’ll tell ya. This tour is looming at a ferocious rate altogether not to mention my keyboard having a bit of a balk on me at the moment. My spacebar and consonant keys seem to be convening against the good of public updates!

So the Volvo performance went down without a hitch, pardoning the inevitable too-young children shneaking in before we had a chance to mention to their parents that this is the six to midnight scene if ya know what I mean. Thankfully no giggles or storming out, but a lovely round of applause and what became a bit of a Q and A about when it’s on.

I assure you sir, I am of a playing age sort.

Has anyone been checking out the Galway Arts Festival or Fringe shows? They’re pretty damn epic. Our very own Oisin Robbins and Samuel Ferry happen to feature in Frank Pig Says Hello, which I caught on the opening night, -and which Cillian Murphy caught the day before yesterday… I’d like to think it was a little to do with me. It was excellent, I particularly enjoyed Ush and Jarlath (Francie)’s relationship! Not to mention the completely TEAR-JERKING set. GYT outdoing themselves there, without a doubt.

In more personal news: Macnas Parade! Anybody see our lovely Bridget and Foley prancing around? Or my lovely self and Mr. Martin for that matter. Up to 100 performers lashed to the streets as hard as the rain on Sunday night, I’ll tell you that much. Great fun to keep us tipping through the sloggier bits of pre-prodution!

At least the rain wont quench my contemplations of arsenal homicide.

AAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGH!
lol…no caption was just funnier…

So our own craic!

Well, venues all done, posters all sent away for and should be arriving tomorrow which only means one thing you guys: A drive as far as Cork and Kerry to get this bad boys up and running! I had a minor cardiac event there when Print24 our lovely printers recorded each order twice, so while the posters were being done and dusted I ended up more or less whining to their customer support for the files that hadn’t been loaded despite having been loaded! But most recent news tells me they arrive tomorrow. Yayness aplenty!

Getting us up and on the road is more an expensive endeavor than I thought, I must admit! Budgeting for everything at once is painstaking! We’re spending a lot of our time balancing production and tour costs, and conducting a lovely raffle with A CAMERA as our price. How fecking cool is that?! Fletcher’s electrical in Ballinasloe are KICKING ASS sponsor-style. So those are going on sale tomorrow for three  bucks a pop and you can get as many as ya like, you lucky devils you! We’re intending this to be out fundy-raisey leg to get us over that final hump. So apart from singing ‘Do what you want ’cause a pirate is free, you are a pirate’, production is cracking along.

Our beautiful Joe McEvoy has gotten his troupes together and set has BEGUN!! * Hallelujah chorus* Prices for burlap, buttons and metal all slowly weaving its way into what will soon be The Last Burning.

Thank god I live close enough to home. My mother’s being super supportive ordering me to give her and all posters for Ballinasloe to plaster them around herself. She has a little heart attack of cuteness on seeing our bear made by Kate Rands, and has insisted we bring the bear with us, so that she may meet him and give him her blessing, as a bear. Congratulations, Kate.

Carlsberg don’t do mothers, but if they’d did, they’d probably be Anita.

So apart from that, the fabulous costume spree and prop hunt has begun, with our Power-woman Ciara Moyna joining Mr. Martin for the good fight against using your imagination for holding stuff.

I’d also like to send a big thanks again to everyone who has donated! People are still tossing a few bob our way, and I cannot say enough how grateful we are. Every bit does go a long way! Who knew that wasn’t a myth! We should do some performances outside Tescos exclaiming IT’S TRUE! or something…

So final blocking is taking place and I’ve a rehearsal to run to in an hour! Best be off. Hopefully another one will come sooner!!

A l’August!

The Race is On!

Well here we are in the ocean busy-land. No lifeboats. No whistles. No lovers to let us lie on the door by ourselves.

Naw, we’re all good. The Volvo Ocean Race (http://www.volvooceanrace.com/fr/schedule/html_40_Leg-9_page1.html) performance propped up a few days earlier, so naturally we’re a bit tight for time. As is life. I must say I have felt myself getting a bit lazy with the production side of things, juggling work, rehearsals, exercise, a casual new-found addiction to clips of Frasier on YouTube, and Sam and Ciara’s (fruitful) attempt at getting me into The West Wing and making me a less embarrassing human being to our generation, and to my parents. Apart from the odd missing out on social events, and having to hang washed underwear all over our kitchen despite fears of making my housemates blush, the show will be right on track with a bit more effort, I wager.

Oh Frasier, how could you steer me wrong?

We’re now performing on Thursday 5th, alongside our two, new, lovely ladies, Cait Canavan and Aoife Noone. Welcome to the cast gals…. You’ve tangled yourself into some kind of messy brain. Hoping to mop the whole place with some organisation, and more disciplined scheduling for my own part, to keep us going. Ironically, the most difficult thing for me has been deciding songs for the production. Picking a song with a good atmosphere, when said atmosphere has already been decided is tough stuff to be brief. We’ve gone from songs passed down from our Irish forefathers, to the Gorillaz, to just about everything under the sun, but I think we’ve our hands on it now. Sam and Muireann are bringing in some instruments, so between them, myself and Martin, I’m hoping to have a prototype song hammered down.

Aaah, the joys of getting stuff done. Cork has been emailed about our cancellation of the 7th. Why? Travel and budget. The joys of travelling with an 18 strong crew, is indeed the cost of each one of us little brats! Thankfully, I’ll be beginning our ThereisLiftoff! campaign soon, publicising online and through contacting our theatres about local participation in each show, and transport needs. So if you didn’t get to donate online or in a fiskal form, worry not. We have tonnes of ways for you all to participate in the lovely lovely show. Things like, lifts from A to B, being the main one!  I’m posting up a rota soon with each trip listed. So basically, depending on the journey, you could get a poster and picture, or a ticket to the show in exchange for acting as a roadie! What could possibly go wrong?

Say na’an

So really, at the moment I’m pretty much the worst enemy of the show, getting distracted every time I sit down to do a bit of Admin… having said that third shiny and new, new lady has been called in: LAURA HICKS! Aka, no bs with a pretty face. Gotta love a winning combination. Laura’s more or less the company Moderator, and company producer. And at the moment, taking care of all of you LOVELY fundit funders!

In other performative news, you can see some of our cast and crew ALL OVER THE GAFF before and between the Ocean Race and The Show: In Fregoli’s The Sweet Shop, teched by our own Joe McEvoy, and in Galway Arts Festival, check out Frank Pig says Hello, with our wonderful actors Sam and Oisin Robbins, and the Macnas parade, including my audacious self and Mr. Emmet Byrne. I tell ya, Andrew and Noeline have, respectively, got it going on.

Check it out at www.galwayartsfestival.com, and also support our supporters! The Galway Fringe Festival can be found at http://www.fundit.ie/project/galway-fringe-festival-1 six days to raise two grand! Not an easy feat, so give up yer aul sins, and put the price of a pint to the lovely arts, as you so kindly have before!

Enough spamming.

Holy knock it off, spam-man!

Anyway, off to fight the good fight against idleness and production deadlines!

See you in August,

Hannahbear

And BY THE WAY. I’d just like to thank Fr. Garvey, Sylvia, Colm and Anthony from Ballinasloe, who donated to ThereisBear! a few days ago. Thanks for still believing beyond a deadline! 🙂

Grattitude: A dish best served on film.

Phase two.

So, after finally cuddlingly welcoming Enda Clarke into the cast to take on the role of Michael (yay), we began filming our Thank You video with the fabulous Ciara Moyna!

Thanks Paris, ‘preciate it.

I must say I’m really looking forward to seeing the final cut. The whole thing is a plethera of names and thanks from everyone involved. -Including me standing with men in kilts. What’s not to love? I’d love to say more, but it’s probably best to leave it until ye get to see it yourselves. I don’t want to talk it up, like everyone did Prometheus. HEYO. No, I didn’t see it.

Anyway, we also held a production meeting involving setting little tasks for the group. I’m very happy to be announcing that we will be looking for local singers, and a 3/5 year old girl to perform at their respective venues for the play. Operation ThereisLiftoff! begins. We’re inviting people to share legs of the tour by means of housing/travel -more for Cork. We did up our final budget today and lemme tell ya, what with the transaction fees from fundit, on top of six card declines, things are looking scary. But Acheiveable. We said we wanted the tour to work with a DIY ethos. So the closer to helping hands we are, the more we can invite to enjoy the celebrations and participate in making a good play happen.

I came up with the opening of the play the other day… It’s gonna be good, please God. It was great. Gave that rush of excitement for the first time in the run so far. However, it does mean that we need to go BIGGER and badder with some venues, like Ballinasloe and ‘Bofin, (as I will now lovingling call The Boff) though staying with the locality. -Not to mention having no accom in Inishbofin! -Ironic, considering we’re performing in a hotel, but these things happen. Tis a popular tourist spot, at a popular tourist time!  We’re now potentially going to be performing in TUAM during their theatre festival! Which is also very exciting!

In other news the venue of Smock Alley, The Boy’s School Theatre, is officially booked, signed and paid for. TO DUBLIN, TO DUBLIN! I’m so excited for that! I saw Oedipus, directed by David Scott there the weekend after the first time we put Burning on, and just thought, this is where our play needs to go!! So yeah, there and Ballinasloe, so far are my mileshtones. Cork’ll be really fun. Three nights in Patrick Galvin’s homeland!

We had good rehearsals today on top of which, in the wake of the GLORIOUS return of mister Oisin Robbins! JE LUI BIEN RECU, INDEED!! Roisin next, can’t wait! And hey-ho! The VOLVO OCEAN RACE!! Somewhere in that beautifully vague 2nd-6th of July, we’ll be staging snippets of the long awaited witch-scĂ©al, not to mention all sprinkled with a dash of The Hero Returns!

In hilarious new news, the documentary is about to begin! So expect video updates of the production itself as well as me own musings! -Thank God, can’t be expecting ye to read this drivel til doomsday!

See you in August!
Hannahbear

The long and dusty path, thus far!

Well,

Apologies for only starting up this thing now, but it has been a most hectic few days. Even as I write this, my laptop is askew over my budget list, programme prototype, an antler, my script, and Planet Word by Stephen Fry!

So what’s new in the world of Bear?

As most of you know, we’ve been fundraising to get our show The Last Burning on the road. We started up our campaign with an amazing pub quiz, hosted and attended by a lot of amazing people!

Sláinte to our FUNders

Howya, now? they says.

Then our descent into fundit.ie madness began. 140 funders later, we made €5,455…

I was as shocked as you!!

So what do you do with five and a half thousand euro worth of people believing and supporting you? I’ll tell ya what youdo. Thank ’em. Early and often. In the form of stuff, pats on the back, and an amazing play. I was at work when the congratulations texts came in from everyone saying that, apparently, ThereisBear! had made their target. And then some. I avoided the urge to bathe in 5000 euros’ worth of singles because needless to say, in Ireland, that would mean a bath of coins. Instead, we are making our thank you video. For which I’m so excited! Filming starts tomorrow, where we plan on writing the name of EVERY person who donated since our fundit campaign began, and all to a bangin’ tune that Ciara Moyna’s going to kill me for not yet having chosen.

Our press launch went down a treat too, including Dr. Patrick Lonergan from NUIG, his lovely speech, the first prototype of our poster revealed, a group of lovely actors getting to finally show their colours, and me arriving with said first poster 15 minutes late in a fabulous too-expensive-for-a-Monday-morning dress!

The Last Minute, by Hannah O’Reilly

So, prep for the launch was much tougher than anticipated, considering how cosy the event it turned out to be. The whole cast was still spread about the world (Oxford, Thailand, Malta, Canada and France) during the launch, what with it still being early days in the rehearsal process, so we had to select our scenes delicately. As in all things, it really became the tried and true theatre situation of minor details coming together in the final throws… I’m talkin 3am. ..It’s always in the wee hours that the creative juices start flowing. Darragh, Muireann and I polished their scene to cool and disturbing new places. Can you believe it?! New Places! I’ve been looking at this script for two feckin’ years and it just never stops to twist and change. So yes, on top of getting our proverbial shit together for the press launch, we also came to new and exciting conclusions and ploys to try over the next few weeks. Six to Midnight stuff, as Shaun handsomely put it. But the gang looked lovely, and performed well, and we got to say our thanks.

And didn’t we look smart?

So Hbear, what are we at now, altogether?
Lemme tell ya, one of the most difficult things to face in the face of this monster is how poor I am at getting simple things done quickly! I’m looking at the beautiful bones of our hand-painted programme, as we speak, wondering -though knowing the answer why- is isn’t a full body yet. Three minutes each page has taken so far, and I’m going at a rate of one a day tops! Ah, to have high hopes in oneself.

Dumbledore knew best.

Oh Hannah, haven’t you learned yet?

Even as I write this, I am in fact procrastinating further work for our Thank You video tomorrow …maybe the wee hours will prove a gracious mistress once again. Creative juices everywhere.

In even more exciting news, Samuel Ferry (www.wordotter.wordpress.com) found the archives of The Lyric Theatre in our college library. This is where The Last Burning was first EVER put on! In these archives was the FIRST EVER POSTER OF THE PLAY, the programme, essays by the playwright Patrick Galvin, and most impressively, letters from the playwright to the head of the theatre. This included letters about my father’s production of The Last Burning twenty-three years ago. This is how I know the play exists. He talked about how the group was going to Monaco for the International Am-Dram festival there… Dad has the placard from when they won best play in ’89. I saw that thing almost every freakin’ day of my childhood and adolescence!! Ironically, I never knew what it was until a few months before deciding to actually do the play!  A massive nerdgasm was has by all!

Beautiful!

Also, during a fabulous afters-function of the Mornington singers, I came up with the opening of the play. And YOU are in for a treat, my friends… oh my, you’re in for a treat.

Alas, the creative flow is upon us and the hour is 2.50 am. Time to switch off and thank everyone tomorrow!

See you in August,

Hannahbear