Monday, 25 October 2010

Friel Festival

Interview with Selina Cartmell

Curve’s first visiting female director, Selina Cartmell, talks exclusively about her upcoming production of Molly Sweeney, for the Friel Festival next month.

Selina is the artistic director of Siren Productions, will be joining Irishman Mick Gordon in producing what will be a unique double dose of Brian Friel’s work in a four week festival of two of his plays.

The profound story of Molly Sweeney – Molly has been blind since infancy, who flourishes in her independence until the arrival of a ‘miracle’ doctor and a misguided new husband whose well meaning interfering threatens her very essence. Cartmell directs this haunting story as we join Molly on her emotional journey from a happy safe place to an overwhelming and ultimately devastating new world.

Never one to take a play at face value, Cartmell will tackle this three actor monologue play in her usual imaginary way.

She said, “I’m always up for a challenge and when Paul Kerryson invited me to come to Leicester to work on something I was delighted to take on Molly Sweeney."
Mick Gordon will be directing the seminal – Translations.

Translations depicts the English military conducting an ordinance survey of Ireland. They are set on translating the place names of long Gaelic tradition. Will mutual understanding eventually transcend language in this dangerous clash of cultures?

The show will mark the 30th anniversary of the story whilst the festival will mark the 50th anniversary of Brian Friel’s work.

Cartmell said, “Friel is one of the most renowned playwrights in Ireland who has produced masterpieces known all over the world. I’d definitely recommend reading the play to anyone.

“It has elements of a Greek tragedy even though it’s not which makes it a fascinating play to watch.”

As well as being the Artistic Director of Siren Production, Cartmell is Artist-In-Residence at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin. Productions for Siren include Medea, Macbeth and the award winning Titus Andronicus (four Irish Times Theatre Awards including Best Production and Best Director).

She has directed Marina Carr’s The Cordelia Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Giant Blue Hand by Marina Carr for The Ark Theatre. For the Abbey Theatre she directed Only An Apple by Tom McIntyre, Big Love by Charles Mee and Woman and Scarecrow by Marina Carr. For the Gate Theatre, she has directed Sweeney Todd (Best Opera Production – Irish Times Theatre Awards), Festen and Catastrophe as part of the Beckett Centenary Festival 2006 (Dublin & Barbican Theatre, London).

In 2007 Selina was chosen as a Protégé in the third cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, an international philanthropic programme that pairs rising young artists with master artists for a year of mentoring. Selina’s mentor was world-renowned director and designer Julie Taymor.

Next month’s Friel Festival is set to make a Curve a must this winter. For those that love their classic dramas or love the thrill of walking into the unknown then visit these two residential plays in the studio this November.

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