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Rough And Ready

I was in dublin Youth Theatre, with the people that I'm working with now, Doireann Coady and Shane Byrne. I loved it, and I did a few bits of acting in my first year.

Then I did a show called Still Life, DYT's anniversary show, with Brokentalkers -- they came in to work with us for six months. It was doing that show that made me want to pursue theatre full-time.

I went to college, and I didn't like it at all; I hated it, so I dropped out. I heard about Project Brand New; I'd been writing little bits and pieces here and there, so I sent them in, and they picked me. I developed a really good relationship with them, and they're the ones who have mentored me and pushed me in the right direction. And they're the ones who said: "You should be a theatre-maker; that's what you should do. We decided now for you; there's no need to flit around anymore."

I wouldn't make the blanket statement that 'young people hate theatre'; it's just that a lot of young people think it's boring. It doesn't enter their minds as something to do on a night out. This comes from our friends who aren't involved in theatre, and you get it in a general sense when people ask you what you're doing with your life, and they say: "What?" I'm 20, and people my age think theatre is boring, that it's rich people talking to each other, that it's not about people like us, that it's about people who are older than us.

In last year's Fringe we did Rough, which we're bringing to the axis in Ballymun. It's a show about trying to be happy, and how the two women in the show are getting on with that. They go out and get really drunk, and they have casual sex, and they eat all the wrong kinds of foods, and buy loads and loads of clothes and make-up, and none of it gives either of them what they're looking for. The idea, on a more academic level, is that you think everything's instantaneous -- we can listen to any song we want right now, we can get something to eat in two minutes -- so that on a subconscious level we believe we can get everything we want instantly, whether that's happiness or love or success. Everything should just happen 'now'.

At the time we started making theatre the whole country crashed down around us. When we decided to form the company we all sat down and said: "Okay, we're never going to have any money because we're reading about how everything is going to be fucked, and no one's going to have any money." So we knew we'd need to find other ways of doing things.

There's always a way to borrow or have a fundraiser. Most recently, Temple Bar Cultural Trust has given us a building and we're going to invite companies in to work there. We're really interested in the community, in what kind of work other people are making; we're interested in building relationships with other companies.

We're all broke. During the Fringe I worked 12 hours a day for two months, and we did a profit share, and I worked out that I got paid 17c an hour. Also, during the festival, The Theatre Machine Turns You On in the Project, which we ran and for which we did a show, Doireann, Shane and I each made €32. If you cared too much about that, you wouldn't do anything.

Rough plays in the axis, Ballymun tonight and tomorrow night at 8pm. See www.axis-ballymun.ie


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