Theatre of the Damned

Starting next Tuesday I will be backstage for a week, watching a play. I am the glamorous assistant director to a new production of a nineteenth century play called ‘Miss Julie’ by August Strindberg. The Debbie McGee to the director’s Paul Daniels, as it were – except in our case we’re both still very much alive.

The play is to be performed in the Pearse Centre on Pearse Street – the Georgian house where the Irish nationalist hero was raised.

We won’t be performing in the modern theatre building out the back – but rather in the round.  In one of the high-ceilinged drawing rooms where the audience will be sitting, watching the intimate play as if they are in the kitchen, along with the characters.

Set on Midsummer’s Eve on the estate of a Swedish Count, the drama follows the titular young woman as she is inescapably drawn to Jean, a particularly well-traveled, well-mannered and well-read senior servant.

The action takes place in the kitchen of her father’s manor, where Jean’s fiancée, a serving wench named Christine toils, while Jean and Miss Julie talk. On this night the relationship between the two rapidly escalates to feelings of love, resulting in unforeseen consequences…

It promises to be good. so check out the Facebook event and come along to watch.

While ‘Miss Julie’ is a wonderful play, I have to admit that for my ego, it is not as thrilling to be backstage as it is to be onstage. Being a bit of a show pony, I like to tread the boards myself. Being the glamorous assistant director is interesting and educational, but it lacks the same nail-biting and thrilling excitement that performing involves. But it has certainly been a worthwhile experience.

All in good time anyway.

You see the theatre group of which I am a member, has just announced a Halloween showcase of supernaturally themed short plays.

I have written a piece of about twelve minutes. It is a three hander. And purely in the interest of practicality and saving time I decided to cast myself in one of the parts. This is in no way a devious attempt to get myself onstage. It is an entirely selfless and noble act on my part to offer my acting services to the play that I penned. If there was a prize for giving, then I’d be a suitable candidate.

(Naturally the above paragraph is complete and utter nonsense – there’s no shame in admitting that the easiest way to get cast in a production is to write your own part in your own play).

I don’t want to give away too many details about the plot at this point – it needs to be accepted as one of the pieces first. However a director has agreed to come on board, and two of the three parts have been cast, and an offer made to the last actor.

So fingers crossed that there will be forthcoming news about this ghoulish new production in the near future.

In the meantime – come see ‘Miss Julie’ next week. You won’t be disappointed.


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