Pádraig O’Connor introduces his new play This, That and The Other, which is being staged in The New Theatre in Temple Bar, Dublin at the end of the month.
Pádraig, a native of Ballymacadam, Castleisland explains here the many hows and whys that nudged the play off the page and onto the stage.
This is Pádraig’s second staging of the play as it was performed in Cork last year.
“One of the questions I get asked most often when people hear I’m staging a play about two people running a marathon is: how did I come up with the idea for the script? It’s a very reasonable question, but the honest answer is, I don’t really know, the idea just seemed to come out of nowhere,” said the author as he ventures down the road of explanation.
Response to Query
“But, having written it all down I was eventually forced to look back and provide an adequate response to this query, which goes a little like this…
“At the time, around autumn of 2019, I was trying to write a completely different play about two people working in an underground sewer in London, both of whom spend their days trying to remove fatbergs, a quaint name for the build-up of oil and grease with unflushable items such as wet wipes or other sanitary products, which harden and clog the sewage system across the city.
“Although I was enjoying writing some of the scenes for this piece, the script itself was kind of going nowhere and felt very stilted.
Not a Wasted Effort
“It was not an entirely wasted effort however, as there was a swarm pool of ideas forming in my mind about the struggle we all endure to get from A to B in our everyday lives and the kind of things we have to tell ourselves in order to make it all that bit more palatable.
“After a couple of weeks writing and rewriting, trying in vain to get that script into reasonable shape, I had pretty much given up hope of it ever seeing the light of day and was subconsciously on the lookout for a new idea. Not long after this, I was at my parent’s house one Saturday afternoon.
Inspirational London Marathon
“The London Marathon was on the television in the living room, and I began watching it with a mixture of curiosity and confusion. The BBC presenters were making a big show out of interviewing various competitors and asking them, why were they running a marathon? Why were they putting themselves through such an ordeal?
“Well, suddenly a new idea came to mind about two characters, who, instead of digging their way through a filthy tunnel, end up running a marathon for completely different reasons, yet both share a desperate need to find a way of getting through the race.
Talented and Creative People
“Last year the play was selected to be part of the Creative Empowerment Programme in the Cork Arts Theatre.
“This gave me the opportunity to stage the play for the first time and work with some very talented and creative people, including the two actors in the show, Maeve Bradley and Ben Waddell, both graduates of The Lir Academy, who I cannot speak highly enough of.
“Their performances in this production are terrific and whether you are a seasoned runner, someone flirting with the idea of attempting a marathon in the future, or indeed, someone who has no interest in running at all but enjoys going to the theatre, then this play will have something for you,” said Pádraig in conclusion.
If You’re in Dublin…..
So, if you happen to be in Dublin at the end of April, or indeed if you know someone who will be or is living there – please do or urge them to come along, as Pádraig and his talented team would love to see you there.
This, That and The Other is at the New Theatre, Dublin from April 25th. -29th. Tickets are on sale here: https://thenewtheatre.com/event/2023/03/18/this-that-the-other/
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