The new solution. Online rehearsal for Margaret Bannon, Tony Mc Mahon, Angela Mc Crosson and Declan Gorman, Sara Mc Cauley, Michele Nic Bhloscaidh, Jim Mc Quaid and Fiona Lynch, Fiona Coll, Mary Brigid Duffy, Seamus Smith and Elaine Mc Quaid

Aisteoirí Muinchille to tread the digital boards

“Life finds a way,” is one of the memorable lines from Jurassic Park. It evokes the inexorable, persistent manner in which life combats all odds to continue to exist. The Covid lockdown has proved that the same urge to survive also exists in the DNA of art. A case in point is Aisteoirí Muinchille who are in the rehearsal stage of their next production; ‘The Pilgrims of Slieve’.

“We don't have sets or costumes this time. We have green screens, black tee shirts, visual backgrounds and sound effects,” Fiona Coll, PRO of Aisteoirí Muinchille says of the group's latest offering.

Last November the group hosted a Zoom workshop facilitated by Declan Gorman. The fruits of this toil is almost ready for public consumption, but not in the traditional manner: “It will be recorded remotely and streamed from March 26 to April 2,” Fiona explains.

Not ones to let the grass grow under their feet, they have remained very active online since the beginning of the pandemic: “Declan has previously undertaken projects like this. We have run summer courses together so I knew he had this tool in his back pocket. When we found ourself in this situation, I thought it might be a good time to try it with the group. It was our first time to try it online.”

The seed of the idea has flourished in the last four months: “We started at the end of November. First workshops, improvisations, drama games then writing exercise. We developed characters, settings situations then found ways to link the characters in this fictional town.

“Declan is an actor, an author, a director and a writer. He took what we gave him and fine tuned it until we have this 'day in the life' of the fictional town of Slieve.”

Described as “heart-warming, hilarious and moving”, The Pilgrims of Slieve sees 11 actors take on 33 characters as they go through the day: “It has been an incredible education for us. It has been great. There isn't one reference to Covid or the pandemic in the play, so it is total escapism.”

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