MAYO BASED Other Voices Theatre Company comes to the Town Hall Theatre next week with a triple- bill of one acts it is presenting under the title of We Are For The Dark.
The three plays are Bright Day Is Done, a new work by company founder Gerald Wilson, Baglady by Frank McGuinness, and Bertolt Brecht’s The Jewish Wife.
The three plays encompass a gamut of emotions, from joy to despair, experienced by three very different women with one shared trajectory, they are heading into the dark.
In Wilson’s The Bright Day is Done (which he also directs ) a young journalist comes to interview an aging actress and inveigles her into recreating extracts from some of her most acclaimed roles – but he is not what he seems. The play is performed by Rebecca Wilson and Wez Lock.
Baglady, by Frank McGuinness, portrays an old woman trapped in a surrealist nightmare of the past as she confronts – and is confronted by – the abused child she once was. This piece is directed by Rebecca Wilson and performed by Mary Jo Ryan and Eithne McGreal.
Concluding the evening is Bertolt Brecht’s The Jewish Wife. It is set in mid-thirties Germany as the Nazi persecution of the Jews is gathering pace. The Nuremberg Laws have just been passed prohibiting Aryans from having Jewish wives and the play centres on a Jewish wife packing her bags as a nightmare of the future looms.
It is a recurrent motif of tragedy: every day, someone, somewhere, harassed by prejudice and fanaticism, is packing a bag or making a bundle. The play is directed by Gerald Wilson and performed by Saskia Eland.
Wilson is a Canadian of Irish descent who worked for many years as a Hollywood scriptwriter where his credits include Lawman, starring Burt Lancaster, and Chato’s Land featuring Charles Bronson. So what brought him from Beverly Hills to the plains of Mayo?
“My wife Rebecca and I travelled a good deal and we lived for a long time in England, where she worked as an actress and ran a dance theatre company,” he explains. “We visted Ireland often throughout the sixties and we had a number of Irish friends including the writer Peadar O’Donnell who advised me I should come to the west – so we did, and we settled here 22 years ago.”
How did Other Voices come about? “The company had its beginnings in Castlebar about 10 or 12 years ago,” Wilson reveals. “It grew from there and it’s basically the same core group of us that are involved in each production. We do our best to keep going like most little theatres that have to struggle with funding and so on!”
Wilson discloses that, even though he has extensive experience doing scripts for television and film, he has written very little for the stage which makes his one-act Bright Day is Done - written earlier this year - a distinctive addition to his writing CV.
The We Are For The Dark triple-bill is at the Town Hall studio from Tuesday November 10 to Thursday 12 at 8.30pm nightly. Tickets are €10 and are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777.