On 10th July, 2021, eight of the original cast members of Amadeus attended a workshop in a garden on a fantastic summer's day. The individual work--performance, writing and recording--ultimately became the focus of the day.
All the work came from the atmosphere and collective creativity involved in the original production of Amadeus in 2019--hence the name, Amadeus: Reflected, for the exhibition as a whole. The theme for the individual work was: pleasure / protection.
As each actor recorded, it became clear that it deserved to be heard entirely.
Here is the full recording of the performers: Tessa Gibson, Jane Hurley, Clara McGowan, Cate McLoughlin, Alyn Fenn, Terri Leiber, Clair Lalor and Julia Zagar with interventions to ask questions by Todd Billeci and Karen Minihan.
You can read further in blog form, about the original production of Amadeus at karenminihan.ie/the-amadeus-project and a full description of the exhibition in August in the Blue House Gallery, Schull at karenminihan.ie/amadeus-reflected.
Please forgive any odd background sounds, we hat not realised this recording would be as important as it turned out to be.
On the 10th July, 2021, at the end of the workshop in the garden, we did some group work, recreating the Venticelli groups from the original 2019 Amadeus production. This is an experiment--having fun with words and sounds.
There are many areas in which Ger FizGibbon has been prominent in theatre in Cork city–-as one of those responsible for setting up and becoming the Head of Department of Theatre and Drama Studies as a director and writer for theatre in Cork.
We focus a lot in this discussion on the city and how the theatre scene has evolved over the past 50 years–-the struggles, the achievements, the politics, the Arts Council––we discuss his involvement in Dramat in UCC, in CTC, the Ivernia, Meridian, the Everyman, as well as the many actor and designers he has been influened by and created with....not to mention his 'in-house' dramaturg, and fellow thesbian, Emily FitzGibbon.
Ger FitzGibbon has been described as the 'father of theatre' in Cork; he is know for his generosity and support to many fledgling actors as to those of us who are more mature.
We discuss what excites him for the future of theatre in the city as well as his take on collaboration, design, mask-making, his secret passion as a 'bricoleur', and the 'Captain's Chair'. He also quotes Shakespeare beautifully.
With twenty-five years experience in the film and writing business, Jeremy Massey gives an oversight of his creative process in working through many screenplays, one novel, published by Penguin US, The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley, an historical novel in writing, Isolato and another in progress, Paddy Buckley's Dance with the Devil.
He discusses his use of structure and form; how he came to the different voices for his characters; how his career in writing has evolved over time; working in collaboration with others particularly on a documentary addressing child sex trafficking; and how to write with a plethora of ghosts for company. He generously speaks of the writers he reveres for their ability to bring the mind of a reader on an incredible, unexpected journey.
As the interview progressed, we moved from sunlight to darkness, and it seemed like this was metaphorically how the interview progressed also. As the son of a funeral undertaker and having worked in the business in his early 20s, themes of death permeate Jeremy's writing and we discuss how these present themselves to the viewer. Hence, the 'dark' photograph that features at the top of this page.
In choosing to listen to the podcast, you might note that, while the conversation is never depressing and is always entertaining, the language is regularly very colourful!
A long-term co-creator with Karen Minihan, this chat with Terri Leiber is the third in the Series, and the final member of the PlayActing Theatre group. As well as acting in classic plays where Karen was the director, they have collaborated as writers and actors since 2011 in The Eileen and Marilyn Experience on six different comedy / cabaret shows and other performances. They say they were 'big' in west Cork!
Because of their longstanding working relationship and the particular chemistry between them, Karen says that this blog has far too much of her in it and far too much laughing! Terri is speaks about being a creative person as a teacher and director, as well as writing novels and the pleasures of collaboration.
This podcast features Karen Minihan in conversation with Alyn Fenn, a writer and painter, and a creative collaborator with Karen for over twenty years in projects which included: street theatre, an arts festival, in PlayActing Theatre and other theatre projects as well as many community arts projects.
Linking to Blog 2 in the series, entitled 'Vision, inspiration...and enchantment', the women touch on why one works creatively and Alyn speaks of where the inspiration for her painting and writing comes, the impact of her family background, thoughts on collaboration, the physicality of working and her chosen chair.
In the podcast, Alyn's uncle, a poet, is mentioned. His name is Alun Lewis.
Her mother was painter, Mair Fenn, and her father, Charles Fenn, was also a writer.
(Opening and closing music features Camilla Griehsel, Singer and Justin Grounds, Violinist.)
The first interview in the podcast Series 1 is with Julia Zagar, friend and co-creator of Karen Minihan's for over 20 years. They have worked on many projects together, especially with PlayActing Theatre, a company that has involved their creative input with Alyn Fenn, artist and writer and Terri Leiber, actor and writer.
In the conversation, Julia chats with Karen about her creative practice as a textile artist and designer, with her passion for mood boards*. She considers the challenge and developments in the process of a year-long project to make 'a piece of art a day', plus another that is a large, bedspread-sized apple, made while sitting on the floor. They reflect on what 'collaboration' means to Julia, particularly in the context of the many projects she and Karen have undertaken. And Julia elaborates on the chair she has chosen to speak about.
*mood board a collection of images around a specific theme, gathered in one place (eg a large sheet of paper, or a Pinterest site), as a source of inspiration.