Podcast available here
On this Armistice Day, I’m re-posting my KCLR 96fm BAI-funded play CAKE. This 45-minute play, set in Waterford 1915-1920, focuses on a local family challenged by opposing allegiances: Lance Corporal Joseph Bohan-O’Shea is fighting at the Somme whilst his Northern Protestant wife May raises their four children down south in Waterford City. However, Joseph’s staunchly Nationalist mother is angry with her son for taking the ‘Saxon shilling’ and betraying the family by joining the British Army. Her gender barring her from taking up arms herself, Mother persuades Joseph’s poet twin, Michael, to fight for Irish freedom, but Michael’s true passion is his unrequited love for his sister-in-law, May…. This story is a fictionalisation of my great-grandparents’ own story.
CAKE is directed by Jim Nolan, and stars Michael Power (winner of the Portsmouth International Film Festival’s 2014 Best Actor Award), Madeleine Brolly and Jenni Ledwell. CAKE also features a special recording of Waterford anthem In Happy Moments by William Vincent Wallace, performed here by Matthew Sprange, fresh from his Olivier Award winning performance in English Touring Opera’s Paul Bunyon.
Sorry about my silence of late. I’ve been very busy with a number of projects most particularly ‘The Daffodil’ – a radio drama series in five episodes which I wrote, produced and wrapped this weekend in Ireland.
Starring Michael Power and Jenni Ledwell, with Jim Nolan in the director’s chair and Eugene Sully on sound – and musical arrangements by Natasha Purwin and Will Fergusson. It was a blast to make.
Set on the fictional Irish island of Trafadden, The Daffodil tells the tale of the relationship between Eurovision wannabe ‘Liam Egan’ and Eurovision hasbeen ‘Banba’, both mired in denial for different reasons. It’s got laughs (I hope) and music and brio – all of which were brought to the table by a stellar cast and crew.
I don’t have the dates of broadcast yet, but expect it will be in early January 2014. I will let you all know. Promise to get back on top of regular posts very soon.
Just got news that my KCLR 96fm radio drama series The Daffodil has been given the funding nod by Broadcasting Authority of Ireland – should be hitting the studio in October. Oh yeah!
Some have asked if a ‘catch up’ version of ‘Cow’ will be available on the KCLR96fm website. Apparently, yes. KCLR are currently constructing a ‘listening room’ for documentaries and dramas and I’ll let you all know once its up and running – in the meantime, the stations forwarded some lovely feedback this morning – so, I’ve just gotta boast, I mean share…:
“thank you so much for this sensitive, witty, biting and ultimately balanced dialogue between the sexes… Sue Healy’s ‘Cow’ and the women and men bringing into being over the ether were wonderful…especially the wife who paused to say …’calving..’ [given her own delicate situation vis a vis ivf..] when her lovely lump of a man wriggles out of the Wednesday salmon-fest supper to ease him into the bedroom..[lovely touch that] by saying that the heifer is tail up and the wife mumbles the dread-laden word…’calving’…which of course she is not…oh how painful and sweet…i cried …oh God yes i did big tear drops onto my white plate of toast…beautifully realised…this is a play of magnitude, significance, humanity and…redemption… you lucky lucky people…what a fantastic flower you planted, tended, nurtured and ultimately stood backand admired…”
Doesn’t get better than that!
Here I am. I’ve wrapped ‘Cow’, a radio play I wrote and produced. It’s now in the nimble hands of Eugene Sully, our editor who’ll be tweaking it over the next week or so and we’re due to broadcast in March. Watch this space for a date and time. It’s been a full on, manic period with a steep cliff of a learning curve and if I wasn’t working with some of the most talented people in the business, actors and director, I would never have made it thus far. A sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of you.
And as ‘Cow’ recedes in the rear-view mirror, my focus now is the Escalator project. At the end of January, I learned that I am one of ten writers from the East of England region who have been awarded the Escalator professional development award which will afford me Arts Council funding and professional mentoring from an established novelist, to bring a novel of mine from early draft stages to completion over a twelve month period. The novel, ‘A Castle Spinning’ concerns the adventures of an alcoholic Irish dwarf who goes to Hungary in search of a woman who seduced him and becomes embroiled in a pornographic cult.
I’ve been putting off knuckling down to focus on a novel for long enough and now there are no further excuses. So, expect to read a lot of posts on the process of writing a novel , over the next twelve months. Onwards and upwards!