Being the page for our latest activities, as supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
To mark 100 Years of Ireland’s status as a republic, and by extension a century of the Irish in Britain being part of the country’s Diaspora*, we are – in collaboration with Irish In Britain, with the assistance of HOME Slough, and in partnership with Liverpool Irish Festival – developing two live/digital engagements: PLAISTEACH and THE MERSEY MASH.
PLAISTEACH is based in part on the Diaspora tale told last year in an Arts Council England R&D “Plastic”, telling the Devaney family story with interruptions, confirmations and contradictions by provided by interviewees from both The Plastic Podcasts and from a series of bespoke interviews, particularly with members of the Diaspora in Slough.
THE MERSEY MASH focuses on the Irish in Liverpool and looks at how attitudes towards both Irishness and the city itself have changed in the last 40 years. With the help of Liverpool Irish Centre, Kuumba Imani and Pagoda Arts, we’re looking at multi-cultural Irishness in this most Hibernian of English cities.
Both projects follow similar paths – a series of interviews that form a backdrop to a personalised story told live on stage (with a projection screen for company) by Doug Devaney with the interviewees present to either approve of how their tale is being told or let Doug know just how wrong he’s got it all!
These interactions will then form the basis of a digital performance some ten days after each live show, again with audience feedback.
Doug says: “I have a personal connection to both Slough and Liverpool. I was brought up in the next town to Slough – Maidenhead – and worked there for Black & Decker and ICI. I still expect to encounter the heady chocolate smell of the Mars factory whenever I step off the train.
“Liverpool will forever be special to me. I was a student there in the mid-eighties, when the biggest growth industry in town was boarding-up shops. I started writing and performing there, it’s where I made life-long friends and feel instantly taller the moment I see the sidings of Lime Street.”
The live events are due to take place at Slough Irish Club (Plaisteach) on September 15th and Liverpool Irish Centre (The Mersey Mash) on October 29th.
More photos and details of drop-ins to follow, but in the meantime here’ a link to last year’s production “Plastic” (including audience Q&A).
*So the argument is that the Irish in Britain couldn’t have been the Diaspora until 1922 becaused before that year, they were still officially British citizens. Feel free to debate using no more than two sides of A4. Your time starts now.