UP AND coming local troupe, Cáca Dána Theatre Company, makes its first outing of 2017 at the Town Hall studio with the premiere of Niamh Ryan’s new play, Eternal Youth.
Cáca Dána was founded last year by Dramsoc alumni Ryan, Katie Reid, Marie Hegarty, and Dara O’Donnell, and debuted last October, also in the Town Hall studio, with All The World’s A Cage, which went on to enjoy a successful run.
Eternal Youth, which blends spoken word and poetry, was first unveiled in 2015 in a staged reading in North Carolina, by Lab Theatre, and received a further rehearsed reading from NUIG Dramsoc last year. Its US production resulted in Ryan receiving the Sam Seldon Playwriting award.
“I was studying at the University of North Carolina for a semester in 2015 and took a playwriting class there,” Ryan tells me. “I was also in a Shakespeare play and doing an advanced Shakespeare class and I think I was dreaming in verse at that point! That’s when I wrote Eternal Youth and even though I tried to write normal scenes they kept ending up rhyming.”
The play features Ryan and Dennis Haugh as teenage friends Ashley and Darren. Through their energetic rhythm and visceral relationship, they conjure a fantastical reality as they struggle through their transition into adulthood. The language is honest, tragic, and will leave you remembering everything that made you laugh and cry about your school days.
“Ashley and Darren are best friends,” Ryan explains. “They’ve just finished their Leaving Cert and are about to start college. It’s a coming of age story in ways. They both have a fascination with Peter Pan and that serves as a motif throughout the play, it’s a story they keep running between them but it starts to get darker. Ashley is ready to move on with her life whereas Darren is suffering from depression and isn’t moving on at all. He can’t really deal with growing up. There is tension between them because though they have been inseparable previously, now cracks are starting to appear in their relationship. Even though the story is tragic, the play is very funny in places as well because it captures those embarrassing moments of being a teenager.”
Eternal Youth is directed by Daniel Cronin and runs at the Town Hall Studio from next Thursday, February 23 to Saturday 25 at 8.30pm. Tickets are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777 or www.tht.ie