tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

first published in @The Evening Echo 2014-11-20


Next week under the overall name of SHOW, the TDC in Triskel Arts Centre will showcase some of Cork’s finest emerging theatre companies and individuals, with finished works from Outset Ensemble, BrokenCrow, JustMakeIt Productions and Dominic J Moore, and works in progress from Conflicted Theatre, Ruth Hayes, Painted Bird, Broken Crow, Ita Morrissey, Richie Clare, Laura O’Mahony and Expecto Theatre.

Two of those presenting work during SHOW, Ronan Fitzgibbon of BrokenCrow, and Laura O’Mahony, spoke with Ronan Leonard about TDC and their projects. Ronan firstly explained how the centre operates, “TDC stands for the Theatre Development Centre and that is literally what it is, a kind of incubator for new work. Companies or individuals can use the auditorium free of charge to develop work for a week. The only criterion is that they present a showing at the end of it, open to the public and free of charge. It gives a great opportunity to gauge audience reaction and receive honest feedback. It also gives the audience the opportunity to learn about different approaches and methodologies.”

Laura uses the space as both a creator and audience member, “for me the TDC is a great space to go and observe the kind of work being made here in Cork. It is also a great forum for meeting like minded people and I feel that many connections are made at showings in the TDC. It is always amazing to go see a work in its infancy in the TDC and then to follow the whole process as it evolves and also to engage with it in my own creative work.”

Ronan echoes the point about making personal links at TDC, “BrokenCrow is an ensemble of people working in different aspects of the theatre and all but one of our eleven productions has gone through some sort of development process in the TDC. We come together every fortnight to develop work and play around with ideas. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to do a lot of that in TDC. Having a free, dedicated theatre space makes a massive difference to companies like ours, otherwise we’d be cluttering up people’s kitchens across the city! It also allows us to keep in touch with what other people are doing, see their work or even just meet for a cup of tea. This leads to a huge amount of cross-pollination of ideas and personnel. It’s amazing how many projects can trace their roots back to a casual chat in TDC.”

He considers the piece BrokenCrow are presenting in SHOW is a perfect example of how the TDC works, “I wrote ‘Prospect House’ earlier in the year, I honestly thought that it was pretty well finished but a week in TDC in July blew it open. I had to strip it right down and rebuild it. It is an intimate and timely story of a woman trapped in a life of forced prostitution. It addresses the relationship between the individual and the machine, the ephemeral nature of morality and the struggle to hold on to one’s self.”

Laura’s presentation will feature in the works-in-progress section of Show, “my script for ‘Claire’s Cork’ will be read by the very talented Caroline Murphy, Laura Harte and Tadhg Hickey. It tells the story of a girl who is on the quest for her illusive first kiss. It just so happens to be set at a time of great change in Cork, a time when men are going to fight as part of the British Army in World War 1 and when Ireland is on the brink of rebellion. This is not the centre of Claire’s universe though, she has bigger problems facing her, the thought of being unkissed and alone for the rest of her days!”

Both are enthused by the idea of their work being shown under a larger umbrella, as Ronan continued, “SHOW is in many ways a festival of the TDC, offering these shows as part of a complete festival programme, all housed under the one roof is a fabulous idea as it affords audiences the opportunity to watch multiple shows from a wide array of theatre makers throughout the week. There is a really vibrant scene happening here but that vibrancy doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The place is buzzing with great ideas and people but, to sustain that, we need to grow our audience. We need people to come along and not just to this show but the next and the next. You’ll love some – you mightn’t love others – but, come on… €10? Take a chance! We’ll do our best to make it worth your while!”

Show runs from Monday 24 to Sunday 30 November. Tickets for finished works are priced at €10 / €8, all works in progress are free entry.

Booking details and full timetable available at


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