Druid Fuel: Month One and Residency

Monday 17th of January 2022, will mark a day in the history books for Eva’s Echo Theatre Company. After a generous vegetarian breakfast from the Hyde Bar, we made our way towards Druid Lane with anticipation, excitement, nerves, and wonder. 

So the Druid Fuel artists all meet that morning for a coffee and introduction. This was where we met Luke Casserly, Martina Carey, and Edwin Mullane artists from far and wide with one thing in common, to create meaningful art. If meeting like-minded individuals wasn’t enough, we were then taken to explore and witness where the design magic happens. Yes, we explored the wonder that is the Druid’s costume and set store. We saw many iconic pieces of costume and set from Druid Shakespeare’s Richard III to Becket’s Waiting for Godot. Delicate cutlery and vintage furniture were at every turn. We may also have had fun with prop swords! 

A week later, Eva’s Echo began its residency! The first two days for me involved getting to the root of why I create art and reigniting my love for it. As a producer, it’s very easy to slip into what is produced, when it is staged, how the work is done, and scheduling the year ahead. Sometimes you get sucked into a world of spreadsheets, calendars, emails, and applications. Before you know it, another year is gone and you’re asking yourself ‘What did I do/create?’ Last year was different cause we finally got ‘Uniform’ on stage, don’t get me wrong it’s amazing seeing the shows produced but I was always an actor first. From there, we decided to partake in ‘The Artist Way’ programme which involves writing morning pages, weekly artist dates, and weekly tasks. It’s only been two weeks since we started this and I have to say I’m absolutely loving it. 

Buying Artist Way in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop Galway

Day two also of course entailed building a foundation for ‘Stardom’. From our talk with playwright Michael West the previous week, we were inspired to bring the portrayal of media back to a form of theatre through imagination and absurdity. This was a breakthrough for us rather than opting for projections, apps, and other digital media integration (Disclaimer, digital theatre, and art forms are great but we frankly had enough of it). So taking all this, we created a mood board depicting the plots, characters, inspiration for the story, and themes. From there, Rena began writing. 

Day four, I came back and we read through the draft while Rena made final changes for the feedback session that evening. We were joined by Druid theatre manager Síomha Nee, designer Hazel Stanley, playwright and former Druid Fuel artist Annie Keegan, actor Mícheál O’Fearraigh and theatre practitioner Elizabeth Flaherty. The session most definitely proved to be valuable leaving us with much to think about and various ideas on how to move the plot forward. I said it before but a big thank you to Druid for access of the the space the last few days, the resources, support and we hope to present what I’m sure will be an amazing showcase.

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