A PLAY by ISOBEL MAHON
Directed by CAROLINE FITZGERALD
at the CIVIC THEATRE STUDIO
Starring Isobel Mahon, Donagh Deeney and Rose Henderson
Design Martin Cahill
Drumming up publicity:
A PLAY by ISOBEL MAHON
Directed by CAROLINE FITZGERALD
at the CIVIC THEATRE STUDIO
Starring Isobel Mahon, Donagh Deeney and Rose Henderson
Design Martin Cahill
Drumming up publicity:
A SHORT FILM
BY DECLAN CURRAN
DIRECTED BY ARON HOLDEN
Starring Rose Henderson (Imelda) and Declan Curran (Ciaran) and set in the beautiful hills of Castlewellan. Imelda is shocked to find out that her grandson Ciaran has decided to move in with her. She is suspicious that the family have decided she cannot cope on her own and is reluctant to welcome him and positively frightened by his high tech ways. He can’t imagine life without WiFi and a compromise must be found.
A SHORT FILM
BY ASH CORRISTINE
DIRECTED BY NOEL McINERNEY
PRODUCED BY MELISSA COLLINS
“A feisty older woman (Rose Henderson) desperate to pay for her son’s wedding band starts a Zoom Fans baking channel, but quickly realises that her version of Baps and Buns may be somewhat different.”
Funded by ENGINE SHORTS, LIMERICK
Director of photography: Niall O’Connor
Editor: Nathan Campion
Assistant Director: Luka Vukosavljevic
Sound: Shane Costello
Art Department: Rachel Ryan
Costume: Eabha Daly
Hair & Make-up: Caitlin O’Donnell
A SHORT FILM, directed by Niamh Collins
ELF – Emerging Limerick Filmakers
Mob the Trench is set in a future where a 130 year old priest (Arthur Riordan) is confronted by an angry mob where a mixed nut sorting machine has disproven the existence of God, bringing his own faith into question.
The film opens with a woman (Rose Henderson), a community leader with a prosthetic eye, is watching an advert for Huxley’s mixed nuts. Incensed by what she now believes are lies told to her by the Clergy, she rallies and coordinates the mob.
It’s an ambitious, unusual and unique project supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Screen Ireland, Limerick City and County Arts Office and the National Youth Film and Animation Network. We’re working with Odyssey Studios, the Screen Composers Guild of Ireland, Fantastic Films and our crew of experienced young filmmakers (who have been at this for three years) are writing, directing, shooting and leading the project in all areas. Mob the Trench will be premier at DIFF.
A RADIO PLAY by GILLIAN GRATTAN
Recorded in KCLR 96FM, Kilkenny
Producer Breeda Slevin
Sound by Martin Bridgeman
Funded by the BAI and KCLR
LINK TO LISTEN:
STARRING ROSE HENDERSON
DIRECTED BY CAROLINE FITZGERALD
**TOURING COUNTRY-WIDE MAY-JUNE 2024**
THE NEW THEATRE, JUNE 2023
VIKING THEATRE, OCTOBER 2023
Set design Martin Cahill
Sound design Neil Handly
Lighting design Cathy O Carroll
Stage Management Eva Walsh
Assistant Stage Management Aidan Murtagh
Photography & Video Al Craig
It is the first anniversary of Martin’s death, Angie’s lover. His family has come to visit his grave. Angie watches the mourners from the safety of her car, hidden under the Yew tree. She remains unseen, her own grief buried deep within. She remembers the foxes, appearing in formation like a string of ugly thoughts…..VIXEN by Helen Casey is a compelling psychological drama of one woman’s resilience, determination and desperation to name the love that was hers, but belonged to another. Both haunting and mesmerizing, it is a visceral exploration of love, unspoken loss and uncomfortable truths. As we are drawn further into Angie’s world, the emotional rollercoaster plunges from the frothy highs to a much darker terrain filled with suspense and a gnawing grief. Tis better to have loved and lost…or is it?
IRISH INDEPENDENT – KATY HAYES
– WED 28 JUNE 2023
VIXEN REVIEW: A PORTRAIT OF THE OTHER WOMAN IN THE AFTERMATH OF A SUDDEN DEATH
It was said after the coronation of King Charles III that this was a great year for “side chicks”, with Camilla finally getting to be crowned queen. This interesting monologue play by Helen Casey gives an account of how it feels to be the unacknowledged “side chick” after the sudden death of a lover, while the wife and family absorb all the public grieving space.
Angie is an art teacher. We are in her apartment on the first anniversary of Martin’s death, a day she has booked as a holiday from work so she can process her grief in private. She spent the morning visiting his grave, then hid in her car under a yew tree and watched from afar when his wife and family arrived.
Angie is a complex creature and indulges a recurring fantasy of meeting the wife and confessing the affair. She runs this confrontational scenario in different versions in her head – these passages are the best writing in the play. Casey’s style is perceptive and often poetic. The vixen of the title reflects some vivid symbolism involving foxes. And the story is well shaped; the slow revelation of how Martin died is satisfying and the conclusion brings a welcome flourish.
Rose Henderson is skittish and spirited as Angie, the off-kilter element of this clandestine relationship neatly embodied. She captures the anger of the “bit on the side”, her number hidden in his phone under the title “boiler repairs”.
Caroline FitzGer;ald directs with great sensitivity, ensuring Henderson hits the high points of intensity as well as the more playful elements.
But the story could do with more texture. More details of Martin’s liffe and their experiences together – this material remains vague, with a few gestures at art galleries and hotels. Martin never becomes a real flesh-and-blood creation in the writing. Angie’s devotion to him comes across clearly, but the lack of detail means we never understand why she is so devoted. And this is a real weakness in the generally accomplished storytelling.
The cosy New Theatre provides a lovely space for this kind of work that relies on direct communication with the audience. At 50 minutes, the play is short and sweet, a pleasant diversion, and Henderson’s warm stage presence wins you over.
NO MORE WORKHORSE – 29 JUNE 2023
We meet Angie (Rose Henderson) as she has just returned home to her apartment. Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of her lover; Martin. It has been a difficult year for her, made worse by the fact that she couldnt attend Martin’s funeral. While Angie was in love with Martin, she was a secret part of his life. Martin was married and Angie was his mistress, his ‘bit on the side’ and this is her story.
This is a one-woman piece with Rose Henderson taking the part of the ‘other woman’ Angie. Rose is a regular on Fair City and has worked on a variety of TV shows, even making an appearance as Sister Assumpta on Father Ted! This is a new piece written by Helen Casey. Helen has worked in theatre for many years, and is involved with “drama in education; creating and devising theatre in school and community settings.
The set design (by Martin Cahill) gives us the sitting room of Angie’s apartment, complete with a sofa and various tables and chairs. Often in small venues such as this, the actor is left with a barren stage but time and effort went into this set.
This is an interesting topic for a play and it is rare we get to hear this side of the story. It is also unusual how unrepentant Angie is she doesn’t see herself as a homewrecker, nor is she consumed by guilt. The piece gives many good images and moments in their affair but doesn’t give us an insight into how the relationship started or evolved. It would give the production more depth if the character of Martin was developed further but he remains elusive. The script contains many moments in their relationship, such as weekends away and their time in her apartment, which are handled well. Rose Henderson is lively and vivacious on stage, keeping the audience entertained and on her side throughout. In the wrong hands, she may have lost the audience, but Angie feels like a warm and friendly character that owuld be difficult to dislike. The piece has an original slant and the performance of Rose Henderson gives the piece life.
Saw Vixen last night in the New Theatre. I would totally recommend it. It’s a beautifully heightened piece of writing that is excellently directed. You get to see Rose Henderson as you’ve never seen her before. What versatility! She creates a ‘vixen’ with great warmth, wit and understanding. You could hear a pin drop in the Theatre. Overall it’s a gorgeous piece. – Liam Halligan, director
Rose Henderson was wonderful in the role. Congratulations to the writer Helen Casey and legendary director Caroline FitzGerald – Jack Gilligan
I was really, really moved by the performance of Vixen this evening. Rose’s performance was stunning. – Brid McCarthy
Rose is an absolutely outstanding actress
Vixen was so cleverly written, challenging and inviting us to think about the unsaid and unseen heartfelt in Angie’s life. Lovely coupling and resonances with words – poetic and poignant.
Enjoyed Vixen – especially the twist at the end
Congratulations Helen, on a super play. A powerful exposition on the complexity of relationships. And a stunning performance from Rose. Top drawer – Clodagh Havel
OMG Amazing. Vixen was performed so beautifully. Adored every second.
The character Angie unravelled before us, layers beneath layers, opening up and at times closing up to catch breath, to find courage. Declaiming as the wine and the sugar took hold. The piece disturbed me in the best possible way that theatre should. Angie appeared a cornered vixen howling in both triumph and grief, resigned to her fate, now the quarry, now the ‘other woman’. In the closing minutes we see Angie like a prisoner awaiting execution, or is it absolution? The widow ascends like a vengeful angel from the underworld looking for that missing piece of herself. In the widow’s mind, Angie is that missing piece. In confronting Angie she will only ever see her own self reflected back, the truth that she too is ‘the other’. In the end the wily vixen steals away into the shadows feeding on the memories, the leftovers beyond death, and each pebble brought to the grave, a love letter. – Sean Molloy
A tour de force, Rose. Loved Angie’s intensity and spirit and the play on Vixen/foxes. You totally held your audience. Don’t think I’ll be looking for vacancy as mistress! – Ros B
Brilliant performance – Sandra Bogle
Fantastic. It’s just lovely when a play and a performance are just perfect together – M Cahill
Fantasic show Rose. Such versatility and courage. You’re phenomenal, every moment perfectly judged! – Isobel Mahon
Fantastic show and performance. Could see you enjoyed all of it. That’s what stood out to me. – Luke Collins
Produced by RTE at the CONVENTION CENTRE Dec 2022
On the eve of the Late Late Toy Show, twelve-year-old Nell Mooney is determined to recreate her Mam’s favourite Toy Show night traditions, but not everyone in her family wants to remember the past. Disaster strikes, and with the entire Toy Show in jeopardy, Nell and the local kids must find a way to save the night and keep everyone’s favourite TV show alive.
“Toy Show the Musical celebrates one of our nation’s most loved traditions and in that, recognises the importance of play, the transformative power of the imagination, and the strength, bravery, and resilience of children.” Director Séimí Campbell
“Has perfect recipe to become an instant Christmas classic”, Irish Examiner
“A rollercoaster of emotions”, Evoke.ie
“… Will likely see not a single dry eye in the house”, Buzz.ie
Jamie Beamish (Bridgerton, Derry Girls, Otto Bathurst’s Halo, Billy The Kid) will play the role of Dad, aka Brendan Mooney, the father of the lead character of the musical Nell.
Clare Barrett (Fair City, Medicine, Wild Mountain Thyme, Trad) has been cast to play Nell’s Mam, Áine Mooney.
The role of Nana will be played by Anna Healy (The Spin, The Last Return, Mother’s Day and Emmerdale).
Dee Forbes, the Director General of RTÉ, has defended Toy Show the Musical following negative reviews, saying “the audience reaction so far has been fantastic”. Ms Forbes said “families and children are really loving the show”, saying it was “always going to be a show led by children for children, in keeping with Toy Show itself”.
In the opening moments of Toy Show the Musical an ensemble of children are performing an elaborate song-and-dance countdown. “Only 12 more hours to go,” they sing energetically, impatient for “the one and only night when we all come together” to begin. Are they talking about Christmas, a person might legitimately wonder, looking at the sparkling lights and gingerbread clues, or about the arrival of Santa Claus? No. They are waiting for The Late Late Toy Show, which in this odd confection from Jane Murphy and Katherine Drohan elevates the annual TV show beyond its status as a contemporary cultural tradition to that of a national holiday.
The book and lyrics from Lisa Tierney-Keogh and Jamie Beamish create a plausible storyline for proceedings, with RuthAnne Cunningham and Harry Blake’s wide-ranging music offering a skeleton structure to the plot. It is Toy Show eve, and the kids of Tricycle Street are especially excited for this year’s programme, as one of their friends, Billy Bagpipes (Calum Kieran), is due to perform. Nell Mooney (played on opening night by the spunky Clare Keely) has some trepidation: it is the first time that her late mother (Clare Barrett) will not be present to conduct the family’s Toy Show rituals, and she is not sure her father (Beamish) wants to participate at all. When an all-island power cut puts a stop to festivities, Nell and her gang of friends (who include several stars from previous Toy Shows) step in to save the day.
There is much to admire in the ambitious staging by Séimí Campbell, which moves along quickly on Colin Richmond’s revolving set. Puppets stand in for lead characters in flashbacks. The adult ensemble animate pieces of furniture. A miniature streetscape offers panoramic views of the community, a symbol also of the greater global community the musical invokes. Richmond’s props and costumes are also noteworthy, adding an ingenious and inventive DIY feel that will inspire creative children.
But the production cannot shake off its indebtedness to the source material it seeks to celebrate. The Late Late Toy Show may have become an important element of an Irish Christmas, but the musical tries far too hard to make a case for its significance. Despite the talent evident on the stage and behind it, it is difficult not to feel cynical about the artistic intention of what is essentially a spectacular, self-congratulatory marketing ploy.
Forget the politics, the Toy Show musical is good innocent fun
There’s absolutely no doubting that the Late Late Toy Show has become a seminal programme in the Irish psyche, spawning, among other things, pyjamas, sweet filled boxes, mugs, games, dicky bows (yes, really) and slippers.
Your social media feed alone is filled with enough proof that this is now a ‘thing’.
The last Friday in November has become the day when Christmas trees are decorated all over the country, when families gather in matching pyjamas dear lord, spare us from the onesies and the children are force-fed sugar-filled sweets in a bid to keep them awake for at least a half an hour of it so that parents can feel less guilty about being glued to it until the bitter end.
What started as a short slot on the country’s most popular talk show has grown to become a broadcasting behemoth, with tickets like gold dust and advertising slots a coveted splurge.
Nell Mooney played on opening night by the wonderful Clare Keeley is facing into the season with a bit of a dilemma.
It’s the first year without her mother (Clare Barrett), who loved Christmas, and she wants to recreate the happy times her family all had together, but her dad (Jamie Beamish, who also wrote the book and lyrics) is not getting into the spirit at all. She’s helped somewhat in her bid to jolly up the neighbourhood by her lovable but rather bonkers grandmother (Anna Healy), who may or may not be dating two men as well as attending judo and flamenco classes.
There are upbeat tunes and dance sequences aplenty, with delightfully nutty teachers, overbearing mammies and an enthusiastic lollipop lady all adding to the colour.
Of course, this being the Toy Show, there is an element of tragedy too. As Nell and her brother Luan try to come to terms with their mother’s death by still talking to her and via flashbacks to when she was still alive, their dad is happy to bury himself in his work fixing clocks and hoping the season will just pass him by.
But Nell is determined not to let that happen. She brings home a tree so big it can’t fit in the house, she wants lights that can be seen from space, and for their family to laugh and sing together again.
The talent on display in this staging is of a very high calibre indeed the young actors in particular are as precocious and adorable as you’d expect.
The beauty of the real Toy Show, of course, is the sheer unpredictability of it all, the inability to know what the children are going to say or do, the expectation of what could go wrong. In the absence of all of that, the musical’s script is strong enough to carry it. It’s 90 minutes, without an interval, and it flew by.
I brought three girls with me, aged 17, 13 and 11, and they all loved it. There may be much to criticise about the politics of this show, but there’s so much to praise about the staging.
Lauren Murphy – Entertainment.ie
In reality, it seems that Toy Show: The Musical has not been as warmly received by the public as RTE bosses may have anticipated.
The show, which is currently running at Dublin’s Convention Centre after opening there last week, and features original songs by pop songwriter Ruth-Anne Cunningham, has cancelled five performances – citing illness among the cast as the reason.
The affected shows were due to take place on Saturday and Sunday with RTE releasing a statement saying “It is with deep regret that due to illness in the cast and crew that RTÉ Toy Show the Musical had to cancel its afternoon and evening shows today and its three shows tomorrow.
“The team did everything possible to avoid this situation and are truly sorry for the inconvenience caused. Our ticketing partner, Ticketsolve will be in touch as soon as possible with those with tickets for cancelled shows regarding rescheduling or refund options.
“As media fragments, RTÉ, as a dual funded public service media organisation, has an obligation to diversify its commercial activities beyond advertising. We must try new things, to grow and sustain all we are obliged to do,” Forbes wrote. “Inevitably when we do something new, it attracts attention. While the BBC (and other broadcasters) has developed many live shows based on some of its big TV properties (eg, Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing, Dr Who), this new show, developed over the past few years, is a new departure for RTÉ.”
She went on to say that the employment of mostly Irish cast and crew, and nurturing the development of the young cast into the stars of tomorrow was a “key aim” in developing the show.
“The attempts by some to pit Toy Show the Musical against other productions is at odds with the broad support we have received from the theatre world,” added Forbes. “It is also at odds with the amount of airtime support RTÉ routinely makes available to live events of all kinds through its RTÉ Supporting the Arts scheme.”
She went on to say RTÉ was “very proud” of the show and that it had not detracted from the organisation’s World Cup coverage, developing documentaries like ‘Quinn Country’ or their political news coverage. “RTÉ has long had to do many things at once,” she said, “that’s what we’re here to do.”
“While there is a significant degree of resilience in the cast, where roles can be covered by understudies, given illness persists among a cast of predominantly children, it is necessary to make further adjustments to the schedule this week,” it read. “On Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd we will be reducing the number of shows from three performances a day to two, cancelling the 12.30 show on Wednesday and the 7.30pm show on Thursday.
Ticketsolve, our ticketing partner, will today be contacting those affected regarding rescheduling and refund options. We will of course be offering full refunds. In addition, for those who missed the show due to the cancellations, we would like to a 25% discount on tickets to attend a show this week or next. We sincerely hope those affected by the cancellations can find a time to come and see the show.
The Toy Show the Musical team is truly sorry for the real inconvenience these changes have caused. We have been monitoring and responding to ticket holders on social platforms and are very aware of how disappointed and upset families were that the shows were cancelled, particularly at such short notice. The team tried its very best to make the shows happen, but ran out of time and options and had to cancel. The adjustments we are making to the schedule this week are to minimise the risk of that happening again.
by GER GALLAGHER
Directed by Caroline FitzGerald
with Rose Henderson and Isobel Mahon
comes back to the Viking Theatre, The Sheds 198 Clontarf Road.
Mon 30 May – Sat 11 June at 8pm
All shows start at 8pm. Doors open at 7.45. Mon – Sat.
All tickets €20. No Sunday performances.
Smock Alley Theatre Directed by J. R. Sullivan
10-15th May 2022
Matinees 1.30pm Sat 14th and 3pm Sun 15th
Tickets :€18.00 – €20.00
Cast: Michael Grennell, Clare O’Malley, Ger Kelly, Emer Kelly, Alex Sharpe, Pat Nolan, Rose Henderson, Gerry Herbert, Aidan Jordan, and introducing Charlie Reid and Chloe Cody
Adapted from the story by TOMASEEN FOLEY
At Christmastime, more than the Christmas cards, more than all the symbols of Christmas, for me, growing up as a small boy in Teampall an Ghleanntain, the prime symbol of the Christmas season was the parcel from America.
Almost every family had a relative in America at this time, and those relatives would send home a parcel at Christmas to the family they had left so tearfully behind. And in that parcel would be clothing, often clothing that they themselves had worn in America over the previous year, and was of course all the more precious for that.
And very often, in with the clothing there would be an envelope stuffed with dollars. And I can tell you that for many families, more cash money and more clothing would come into the house in that parcel at Christmastime than in the course of the whole year that had preceded it. So that parcel was looked forward to with the same glee and anticipation by grown men and women as young children look forward to Santy Claus.
That parcel contained the gold, frankincense and myrrh from that fabled land across the sea: America.
TV NOW MAGAZINE:
After a long absence, live theatre is back with a bang! And who better to indulge you in an afternoon of outdoor theatre than the company who have been touring their much loved outdoor theatre all over Ireland and Europe since 2013, even performing for Michael D himself at the Áras!
Previously featured as part of Angels in the Park, Shiva Productions have revived three of their most popular 10-minute plays to bring a smile back to your face:
Forgiveness by Owen Fitzpatrick
Food of Love by Lorna Kelly-Dalton
The Deal by Catherine Barry
The F Word, featuring three 15 minute plays written by three very different Irish writers, will be performed promenade-style in the beautiful settings of St. Anne’s Park, Herbert Park, and Palmerston Park on selected dates in August and September. The plays examine love, loss, conflict, online dating, family relationships, and random life-changing encounters.
Starring: Robert Harrington, Rose Henderson, Michael Heavey, Geraldine McAlinden, Joe Purcell, and Lisa Walsh. Directed by Aoibhinn Marie Gilroy.
Sunday, August 29th – St.Anne’s Park, Raheny
Sunday, September 5th – Herbert Park, Ballsbridge
Saturday, September 11th – Lexicon, DunLaoghaire
Sunday, September 12th – Palmerston Park, Ranelagh
Saturday, September 18th – National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin
Sunday, September 19th – National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh
Times: 3 Afternoon performances per date. Running time: Approximately 50 minutes.
Tickets: €8 + booking fee. Eventbrite.ie/The F Word
As numbers are very limited, early booking is advised to avoid disappointment. Wheelchair accessible.
A numerologists dream – 3 plays, 3 writers, 3 dates, 3 performances per date, 6 actors, 30 tickets available per performance.