NT Shell Connections
Wed 31st & Fri 2nd: Karamazoo by Philip Ridley; Youthopia
devised by KYT; and the The Willow Pattern by Judith Johnson.
Thur 1st & Sat 3rd: "Where I Come From - Scenes
from Abroad by Susan Williams" by Richard Nelson; and
Boat Memory by Laline Paull.
This year Kildare Youth Theatre's involvement with the Royal
National Theatre of Great Britain's Shell Connections project
sees them perform a small festival of plays for young people.
There are five very varied pieces of challenging new theatre
on offer, from the home-made, devised, physical theatre piece
called Youthopia to the televisual, period drama Boat Memory.
Karamazoo is a 20 minute monologue about bullying but popular
and attractive teenager who reveals to us his/her hidden pain,
shame and determination to be dominant. It is fresh new writing
from Philip Ridely, constituting one of the most insightful
and riveting monologues ever written for a teenage actor.
There is a male version of the play and a female version.
They are directed by Yvonne O'Hara and Peter Hussey.
Youthopia is an issue-based piece of physical theatre devised
by a small group and directed by Laurence Hamill. It lasts
approximately 20 minutes and expresses young people's attitudes
to what they consider to be the most pertinent social issues
facing them today.
The Willow Pattern by Judith Johnson is an inventive dramatisation
of the ancient Chinese tale of doomed lovers, woebegone doves,
evil Mandarins and ruthless warriors, made famous by the blue
ceramic paintings found on crockery and china plates. It is
performed in an energetic and comic style that benefits the
epic nature of the tale and is directed by Darren Donohue.
Where I Come From - Scenes from Abroad by Susan Williams
by Richard Nelson is a play for the older teens. It is set
in 1987 in a London B&B where a group of American high-school
kids spend the last night of a culture week in Britain. They
are left without adult supervision for this last night and
they have a party. The play is naturalistic and performed
in real-time, with characters moving in and out of the room,
slowly getting drunk, revealing secrets to each other, discussing
and berating their parents, and beginning to form romantic
alliances, all of which is narrated by Susan Williams from
the present time. This play contains strong and sexually explicit
language. Where I Come From is directed by Mary Duffin.
Boat Memory by Laline Paull is the second play for the older
teens. It is set in 1832 when Captain Fitzroy returns from
South America to London with four young Tierra del Fuegian
captives. They are given to Rev Williams to be civilised and
Christianised, in the expectation that they will become future
missionaries to Tierra del Fuega. The play recounts how they
are treated in London and explores the effects of their presence
on all those with whom they come in contact. Boat Memory is
based on real people and real events. It is subtle, powerful
and unsettling. This play contains scenes of a graphic and
sexual nature. It is directed by Peter Hussey.
KYT take Karamazoo to Lyceum, Edinburgh
Kildare Youth Theatre toured two versions of Philp Ridley's
play ' Karamazoo' to Edinburgh 16 - 18 June.
The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh hosted the Scottish
regional NT Shell Connections Festival from 16 to 19 June.
It was opened by Alice Cunningham playing the female version
and Ger Brady playing the male version of Philip Ridley's
Both shows played to a packed Lyceum and excellent reviews.
[Ali Cunningham] got to the heart of the monologue, that is,
telling a fairy story her dead father had told her, at which
point she soared away. At the other end of the evening, Ger
Brady hit the stage running. His Ace was pure bravado and
he caught every aspect of the twitching and sneering, self-confessed
alpha male perfectly. 'The Evening News' 17 June.
A final chance to see these wonderful plays will present
itself during the Wyeth Kildare Festival of Youth Drama 12th
- 16th July in Riverbank.