So its been a while, but time flies when you’re having fun.. I had the pleasure of attending a performing of Stagemad Theatre’s “All Fall Down” as part of Waterford’s Imagine Arts Festival. Written by Ciaran Murphy and directed by James Power, this one act play starred Bríd Power and Brian Coady. A Q&A with the writer and director was held after the performance.
The play examines the relationship between a brother and sister, where the sister has taken on the role of carer for her blind brother. Set in a post Celtic Tiger rural Ireland, we quickly see the strain of the relationship brought on by both the circumstances of the siblings and the lack of state support for carers in Ireland.
While only 50 minutes in duration, it’s a very powerful piece. The performances were excellent and as an audience member you could feel the anger and sadness emerging in the narrative. While watching the play, I couldn’t help but not think of the in Wexford from a few years ago.
I found the play deeply moving and it stuck with me afterward. And to quote Murphy from the Q&A, “you have to tell a lie to tell the truth”. This is a story that has to be told. There are major issues with the lack of appropriate state support for carers and the with mental health overall in Ireland. While this harrowing tale is a work of fiction, there’s no doubt that similar situations are playing out in real life all over Ireland every day. I only wish that Stagemad could bring this show to other venues throughout Ireland.
Stagemad have a philosophy of creating opportunities for local talent. Many of their past productions were written by local playwrights. A very popular group in Waterford, it’s very clear that we need more groups like Stagemad in Ireland.
Stagemad’s next production, “Events While Guarding The Bofors Gun” will be staged in Garter Lane Theatre from Wednesday 23rd to 26th November. Tickets are available on the Garter Lane website.