in 2019, Belltable:Connect commissioned four new scripts, with the kind support of the Arts Council.
Marie Boylan and Helena Close – RED ARMY
It is often unusual for artists to be as obsessed with sport as Marie and Helena are with Munster and Irish Rugby. Like many Limerick women, Marie and Helena go to Thomond Park religiously every week, as well as to several matches abroad. They have an in depth knowledge of the game, they live and breathe rugby. For years, both women tried to write projects individually about Munster, but struggled to find an approach, as Alone it Stands was always the benchmark. It was after Anthony Foley’s death and amidst the Waking the Feminists Movement in 2016, that both women began to chat about the possibility of collaborating and writing a new play- RED ARMY- for the modern Munster era and celebrating women as sports pundits.
Marie and Helena first worked together during Limerick City of Culture’s Theatre Legacy project- Pinhead Duffy. Marie project managed the week-long programme which ended with in a rehearsed reading of an adaptation of Helena’s novel in Belltable.
Veronica Dyas – PADDY MCGRATH’S DAUGHTER
‘My Aunt Sylvia remains Paddy McGrath’s eldest daughter, as I remain his eldest granddaughter. There’s 25 years between us, I am a single woman with a different surname and I don’t know what a Matriarch is meant to look like in 2019.’
Veronica is an artist working primarily through theatre, new text & installation. Facilitation, Action and LOVE are crucial to her practice. She works regularly with communities of identity, purpose and/or place. Plays include My Son My Son, HERE & NOW and In My Bed. Installation work includes We Preserve This Object in collaboration with Transition Year Students Margaret Aylward’s, Extracts of the HERE & NOW HOMES/SICK Exhibition, Science Gallery Dublin and‘YOU’. Veronica studied Drama & Theatre Studies with Sociology at Trinity College Dublin and holds an MA in Text & Performance Studies from RADA & King’s College London. She is a participant of Irish Theatre Institute’s Six in the Attic Artists Supports Programme.
Liam McCarthy – MAM AND LOVE AND WOO
Liam is writing a new play about a mother and son coping with a recent bereavement. Set in Limerick City, the play grapples with evolving family dynamics within a rapidly changing urban environment.
Liam is a writer from Limerick. He participated in the Belltable: Connect Theatre Programme in 2017 and was an Associate Artist of Mick Lally Theatre, Galway as part of Druid Theatre’s FUEL programme. His play Alya: Falling was nominated for the Eamon Keane Playwriting Award at Listowel Writer’s Week and read at the Words, Words, Words festival at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. His play Network Diagnostics was presented at Brighton Fringe as part of their Window Arts Industry Showcase and was nominated for a Nordic Fringe Network Award. His play for younger audiences, This Little Piggy recently enjoyed a short tour. He has worked extensively as a drama facilitator in many schools, universities, theatres and centres across Ireland, Spain, Italy, and in the US.
Paul Meade – SHAM
Sham is a contemporary retelling of Hamlet set on a Limerick estate. Our hero has returned from college in Dublin to find that her father has been murdered in a gangland killing, her mother has hooked up with her uncle and her girlfriend is back on the gear. The only thing for it is to go mad.
Paul is Artistic Director of award-winning theatre company Gúna Nua. Writing includes: Faith, Meltdown, Scenes From a Water Cooler, Skin Deep (Stewart Parker Award), Thesis and Trousers (Gúna Nua.) Also, Mushroom (Storytellers), Light Signals (Team) and Begotten Not Made (Irish Council for Bioethics, Jim McNaughton/Business to Arts Bursary, RTE radio production). Most recently Paul wrote Conference Call and The Short Biography of Denis O’Rourke for RTE radio drama. Directing includes: Pondling, The Goddess of Liberty, Little Gem, Scenes From a Water Cooler, The Unlucky Cabin Boy and The Morning After The Life Before. Most recently Paul directed Appropriate.