A NEW Galway theatre company, Cáca Dána, takes a bow in the Town Hall studio next month with All The World’s A Cage, an original one-act comedy, with a distinctly female perspective, devised and written by the company.
Cáca Dána are Katie Reid, Niamh Ryan, Marie Hegarty, and Dara O’Donnell, all graduates of NUI Galway’s drama and theatre studies programme. “We all studied and acted together in college and decided we wanted to do our own work,” Reid tells me over an afternoon coffee. “Niamh, Marie, and myself act in the show and Dara is our production manager. Our goal is to have more female voices onstage to talk about the things we feel aren’t talked about too much, and to have a woman’s perspective on theatre. It’s really nice to have four women working together to make theatre in Galway. That’s something we all care about.”
"All The World’s A Cage is a really fun comic play that also subtly assesses the role of women in society and the workplace,” Reid states. “It features three girls stuck in their living room hiding from the TV licence inspector because they don’t have the money to pay him. Two of the girls want to be actors and the other wants to be an engineer. The plot isn’t the main focus of the play; in the hour they are stuck in the room they talk about their own situations, why they don’t have the money for the TV licence, why they feel they are at an interval period in their lives, and how they got there.
"It’s about the relationship between the girls, how they support each other, and hold each other back from certain opportunities. A lot of the comedy is about how the girls bounce off each other and the dynamics between the three.”
Reid expands on the play’s characters and themes; “Tina, played by Marie, is the engineer. She has adapted her life to work in a very male-centred profession. The other two girls are Jill (Niamh ) and Amy - the role I play. Jill has a boyfriend, wants to settle down, and have the traditional life she thinks others will judge her by. Amy is the strong-willed one who keeps everyone on their toes and tells them if they are missing opportunities in life it’s their own fault if they don’t fight for them.
"There is a rift between the girls because Jill doesn’t feel she should have to apologise for wanting these traditional things in life but Amy thinks she does. Tina is always caught in the middle between them because she has grown up very isolated and alone. Now she is in a profession where she is not always appreciated because of her gender, but she’s learned how to accept the way things are around her.
“They are three opposing characters, the fact they are even friends is surprising. Tina wants the two girls to realise what they have, she often acts the go-between because she wants better things for them. They’re always looking toward the future and America is the endgoal. They want to get their lives together and not be working in crappy jobs, so there is a big conflict between the three of them. They all have very different views about how life should turn out and none of them are wrong, but none of them are right either. The play focuses on how they learn to deal with and accept other people’s visions of the world and realising themselves that they don’t have things all figured out.
“We want to keep putting work out there and show that we’re here to stay and have things to say,” Reid concludes. “We all are into writing and creating work. While this play is a comedy, we won’t be typecast by that and will do more serious stuff as well.”
All The World’s A Cage runs at the Town Hall studio from Thursday October 6 to Saturday 8th at 8.30pm. Tickets are €8/5 via 091 - 569777 or www.tht.ie