The Fit-up Theatre Festival is a joint initiative between Blood in the Alley Theatre Productions and Cork County Council.
The core essence of the Fit-up Theatre Festival nods to the tradition of Fit-up theatre of the1950s, when professional companies travelled the length and breadth of Ireland reaching a wide variety of towns, villages and rural areas bringing all members of the community together through the act of theatre. The festival seeks to revitalise this attitude by providing affordable access to high quality professional theatre in rural communities. The Fit-up Theatre Festival series has been running since 2009 with 2016 marking the inaugural Blackwater Valley Fit-up Theatre Festival. Over the next three weeks the three productions in this year's 'Fit-Up Theatre Festival' takes place in St Michael's Hall, Ballyduff at 8pm nightly.
Tickets €12 / €10 available nightly at the Box office.
Week One - Thursday 4th February
Loco and Reckless Productions Ltd Present
'The Man In The Woman's Shoes'
Written and Performed by Mikel Murfi
Set in October 1978 - Pope John Paul the First is not long dead, autumn is closing in and Pat Farnon has 'some business' to do in town.The Man In The Woman's Shoes follows Pat Farnon as he walks to town and back again. It is a beautifully observed piece, utterly simple and tender and at times downright daft. You might just fall in love with life again. The show was originally created with Sligo County Council Arts Service and the Hawk's Well Theatre, as part of the Bealtaine Festival 2012. In 2015 it toured to New York as well as a sell out run in the Abbey Theatre Dublin. It returns to NYC in 2016 and also heads to the Tricycle Theatre in London in April.
Week Two - Thursday 11th February
Kabosh Theatre present'Those You Pass On The Street'
Written by: Laurence McKeown
Directed by: Paula McFetridge
Performed by: Vincent Higgins, Paula McFetridge, Carol Moore & Gerard Jordan
Those You Pass On The Street is a hard hitting play that explores the legacy of the conflict in Ireland. When Elizabeth, an RUC widow, walks into a Sinn Fein office seeking assistance with anti-social behaviour in her area, she sparks up a friendship with community officer Frank. This developing friendship challenges their personal preconceptions and beliefs as well as their family and political loyalties. Having toured to audiences throughout Ireland the play successfully contrasts political positioning with individual's needs, challenging the view that any mechanism for dealing with the past is simply about 'whose side gets what'. Each performance will be followed by a post-show discussion.
Week Three - Thursday 18th February
Blood in the Alley presents'Under Milk Wood'
Writer: Dylan Thomas
Director: Geoff Gould
Performers: Rowan Finken, Denis Foley & Martin Lucey
Lighting designer: Elizabeth Powell - Music & Sound Designer: Rob Moloney
Stage Manager: Bronagh Doherty - Set Designer: Dearbhla MacManus
Costume Designer: Liz Flatman
Under Milk Wood is Dylan Thomas' unique vision of human experience hammered out of the small Welsh seaside town of Llareggub (Llareggub is”bugger all” spelled backwards). Beautiful, surreal, darkly comic and bawdy it is replete with characters who are romantic, earthy, mad, parochial, wildly comic and easily recognisable to all. The show opens with an omniscient narrator inviting the audience to listen to the dreams and innermost thoughts of the inhabitants. They include Mrs. Ogmore-Pritchard, relentlessly nagging her two dead husbands; Captain Cat, reliving his seafaring times; the two Mrs. Dai Breads; Organ Morgan, obsessed with his music; and Polly Garter, pining for her dead lover. Later, the town awakens and, aware now of how their feelings affect whatever they do, we watch them go about their daily business. In this exciting new production from Blood in the Alley, Geoff Gould directs an all male ensemble presenting a fast-paced, minimalist, comic interpretation of the myriad of colourful characters that inhabit the village. This experienced company promise eighty minutes of the surreal and the magic.