You Can’t Just Leave – There’s Always Something

ABSOLUT Fringe 2011

Developed as part of The Performance Corporation’s SIMPLY Space Programme

NOMINATED FOR THREE AWARDS AT THE ABSOLUT FRINGE FESTIVAL 2011

  • ABSOLUT Best Off-Site Production
  • Fishamble Best New Writing Award
  • Spirit of the Fringe Commissioning Award

The experience is intimate […] while the writing is skillfully observed and cinematic, as is the auteurish direction

– Niall Toner, Sunday Times

The Writers - Wrapped up in it.
The Writers – Wrapped up in it.

This has to be the biggest, most ambitious play I have worked on. Myself and James decided to approach  three writers whose work we liked to pitch the idea of a collaboratively written play. At the beginning of 2011 we got together with Dan Colley, Máirín O’Grady and Louise Melinn to talk about working in a new way.

Máirín O'Grady, Dan Colley, James Hickon and Louise Melinn
Máirín O’Grady, Dan Colley, James Hickon and Louise Melinn

At this stage I was working as dramaturg, with a view to transforming back into director once the script was done. Over the weeks and months that followed we navigated new artistic territory, learning how to create a play that drew on the strength of four individual personalities while ultimately forging something with a cohesive and clear voice. It was thrilling. And more successful than we could have hoped.

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We drafted and workshopped – with the kind support of Fringe Lab – with a host of brilliant actors. Their feedback in these sessions helped us to gain a clear idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the writing. It gave me confidence as dramaturg that we were moving in the right direction.

Many of the actors in workshop were invovled in the final piece.

Summer 2011 bits 157

You Can't Just Leave - There's Always Something
You Can’t Just Leave – There’s Always Something

Once the script was complete we began rehearsals. For a glorious week we made the trip out to Castletown House and benefitted from The Performance Corporation’s SIMPLY Space Programme. After this, we were based in Filmbase before moving to the space itself.

Dan Colley and Maeve Stone
Dan Colley and Maeve Stone

Dan Colley had morphed from writer to writer/producer and for months we were on a hunt for the perfect location. It was no mean feat to find somewhere as beautiful and perfect as the Victorian town house on Kenilworth Road and we managed to negotiate its rental for a bargain price.

Tour of the Space
Tour of the Space

We had pitched the play to Dublin Fringe earlier in the year and so the work was all leading up to that festival in the summer of 2011. We were very lucky with the weather (you have to mention the weather).

A vibrant, immersive play set in a secret location in Dublin city.

You Can't Just Leave - There's Always Something
You Can’t Just Leave – There’s Always Something

As part of ABSOLUT Fringe 2011 . You Can’t Just Leave – There’s Always Something begins at a bus stop on Nassau Street where guests are met by actors in character and brought to a secret location for an immersive experience in theatre and performance.

The Bus from Nassau St. to the Secret Location
The Bus from Nassau St. to the Secret Location

Set in the faded grandeur of a Victorian home, audience members experience the play in intimate surroundings, moving through time and history, as they are guided by the characters through its once-splendid rooms and hallways, uncovering the house’s secrets. The play creates the experience of eavesdropping on the characters as they greet, weep, sleep, and shout at a house party to remember.

The Garden
The Garden

You Can’t Just Leave – There’s Always Something is the collaborative work of four, very different writers, with a desire to create a collective response to the newest wave of Irish emigration. They’ve come together to share a story, swap characters and write with one voice, about what it’s like to see to see your friends leave and then come back again for one night only, hoping that nothing has changed.

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You Can’t Just Leave – There’s Always Something
You Can't Just Leave - There's Always Something
You Can’t Just Leave – There’s Always Something

youcantjustleave

CAST

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CREW 

Director Maeve Stone

Writers Dan Colley, James Hickson, Máirín O’Grady, Louise Melinn

Dramaturg Maeve Stone

Producer Dan Colley

Production Assistants Jim Connell-Moylan, Aoife Leonard,

PR Jessi Carri, Julie Blakeney

Lighting Katherine Graham

Lighting Assistants Kevin O’Malley, Aidan Crowe

Art Direction James Hickson

Electrician Matthew Hickson

Music Gareth Averill

Graphic Design Kate Dwyer

Photography Bob Gallagher / Marie Denham

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