Bob Kelly - Artist in Residence at Hawk’s Well Theatre for second year
We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in attaining funding to continue our Theatre Artist in Residency programme with Bob Kelly for a second year. The purpose of this scheme is to offer theatre artists the opportunity to create a year-long work programme in partnership with venues and local authorities. The specific contents of the work programme will be designed by Bob Kelly in collaboration with ourselves and Sligo County Council Arts Service. Bob has been Theatre Artist in Residence at the Hawk’s Well for a year now and has worked on developing the theatre’s training programme through workshops, rehearsed readings and discussions including hosting a 'chat show' after selected theatrical performances. The residency affords the theatre artist time to work creatively on projects and as part of this year’s residency Bob has presented one work-in-progress reading of a new piece of writing called Bless the Mark. This piece was loosely inspired by happenings in Sligo during the War of Independence and Civil War, including the story of Sligo’s ‘Noble Six.’ The reading of ‘Bless the Mark’ featured actors Rickie O'Neill, Barry Cullen & Brian Devaney, accompanied by Tola Custy on fiddle.
A second project ‘Sligo Stories’ was developed by the theatre into a site-specific production ‘The Big Wall’, written by Bob Kelly. This piece was created with support from Ireland 2016 and formed part of the theatre’s commemoration programme for the year. This unique, immersive piece of theatre took place in the historical settings of Sligo Courthouse and Sligo Gaol and ran from Thursday 26th to Monday 30th of May. Audience sizes were limited to ensure an intimate and unique experience for all and in total over five hundred people attended twenty-four sold out performances. Beginning in the courthouse, the audience was brought on a journey through a Sligo of the past, finally arriving at Sligo Gaol or 'The Big Wall' as it was known. The immersive nature of this piece of theatre brought the audience that bit closer to life in Sligo in 1916.
The production featured a cast of six professional actors who were joined by a local cast from Sligo Youth Theatre and a cast of twenty-eight local actors. In total there were over seventy people involved including cast and crew.
The professional cast included Miriam Needham, Julie Sharkey, Bryan Quinn, Clare Monnelly, Ciarán McCauley and Margaret Kilcoyne.
This ambitious new performance project was supported by Sligo County Council & Ireland 2016. The project was also supported by local businesses including Nathaniel Lacy, Good 4U, Mullaneys Solicitors, Callan Tansey, ETB, the Sligo Park Hotel and Strathroy.
“I'm absolutely thrilled to be continuing my relationship with the Hawk's Well as Artist in Residence. Already it has afforded me invaluable space to generate new work and plant seeds for projects that I hope will bear fruit in the coming years; with the extension of our working relationship into 2017 I can use the residency to further develop these projects and to explore new ideas.” Bob Kelly, Hawk’s Well Theatre Artist in Residence