Dublin duo Feidlim Cannon and Gary Keegan got off to a rough start. Their dedication to finding new theatrical forms started with a radical restaging of Philadelphia, Here I Come!, which landed them in a spot of trouble with Friel’s lawyers. The experience obviously didn’t discourage the Brokentalkers as they went on to make some of the most imaginative and emotionally resonant work in the past few years. Their back catalogue includes Track – an audio-guided tour of Dublin from an immigrant’s perspective; the Dublin Youth Theatre collaboration This Is Still Life, which implored the melodramatics of youth with sweet sentiment; the long-distance two-hander In Real Life – a moving portrait of human connection that was delicately intimate despite one of the leads skyping from Belgium; and the gorgeous Silver Stars, which featured a male choir that told of the real-life experiences of gay men in Ireland. Cannon and Keegan have honed a stagecraft that fantastically dances not only with our conventional expectations of ‘theatre’ but also with the experiences inherent in contemporary life. With The Blue Boy, the group are looking at the societal imprint of children’s experiences whilst incarcerated at Catholic residential care institutions.
Despite their portfolio, funding bodies are criminally negligent of supporting Brokentalkers, leaving the fate of The Blue Boy uncertain. Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival seem to want it as part of their programme in October, and thus both have launched an initiative with www.fundit.ie appealing to the public for donations, where they hope to accomplish their 3,000euro target in five weeks. If the target isn’t reached, Brokentalkers cannot produce the show.
I do believe that The Blue Boy is a very important project. If you are wanting to support the arts in some capacity I would recommend starting here.
For more details –
Trailer for The Blue Boy –