IF YOU spend your day contemplating family, Irish history, commercialisation of the arts, politics, globalisation, stoats, Greta Thunberg, and homeopathic underarm deodorant, then Retreat!, a new audio comedy series, might just be for you.
Retreat!, written by Galway based writer Aoibheann McCann, and French based writer and illustrator, Andi Ipaktchi [pictured below], is set in Knocknahay, a small village on a stoat-infested lake somewhere in Ireland, and home to the Kathleen O'Mara Residential Centre for the Arts.
Brigit, an unsuccessful writer and Celtic ‘Healer’ and Shannon, her wannabe artist American cousin, meet-up for an artistic collaboration. In the residency they meet Mary, an Irish poet; Agnes, a French artist; Gunter, a German soundscape artist; Damien, an Irish radio celebrity turned writer; and the staff, Barney, the bumbling English director; Nora, the chef; and Teresa, the kitchen maid.
As the artist-residents and staff prepare for a group exhibition to inaugurate the new onsite Megacorp Exhibition Hall, an heiress, the groundskeeper, Chinese dissident artist, Zhang Yong, and an army of stoats have other plans. The parts will be played by Helen Gregg (Macnas ), Fred McClosky (Ros na Run ), Gavin Morgan (Macnas ), Aoibhéann McCann (Vikings ), and Sally Tang.
Aoibheann and Andi are now trying to raise funds to help with the recording of the series. Paying industry rates is very important to the writers, as actors and related professionals have been hit particularly hard by theatre closures. So far they have raised more than €1,600 but are asking the public for help.
As a result, there will be a live, interactive, table reading for Culture Night, on Friday September 18, in the Athenry Heritage Centre, supported by funding from the Galway County Council.
Tickets are free but limited due to social distancing and are on sale via Eventbrite. Most of the money raised will help pay the actors and the sound producer proper industry rates for recording and producing the series.
Making the series has been possible using Zencastr. It was recorded by the actors and produced by Headford based sound producer Alan Meaney remotely. It will be available free to listen via Spotify, Apple and Acast. For more information see RetreatComedy on GoFundMe, Ko-Fi, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.