Monday 21 October 2019

Druid theatre's latest show a comedy looking at daily life

Emma Gallagher

Theatre fans in Sligo can look forward to another comedy from the Druid theatre, Furniture, which comes to the Hawk's Well this month.

Written by Sonya Kelly the light-hearted production examines the human fascination with material goods in a humorous and witty way, focusing on three very different relationships.

Among the actors starring in the production are Niall Buggy, Garrett Lombard and newcomer Ruth McGill who hails from Ardara in Donegal.

Although a regular in productions by the Abbey, Olympia and The Gate theatres, this is the first time Ruth has been involved in a Druid play and she said she is really enjoying the whole experience.

She said: "We are currently on a 7-week tour, we are going around the country, it is great. We have been in Tralee, Limerick, Dun Laoighaire and then we are going to Ennis, Galway, Letterkenny and Sligo before continuing around the country.

"This is my first time getting to work with Druid and it is really nice. It is such a brilliant company to work with, it is so well run.

"Furniture is directed by Cathal Cleary from Roscommon, it was at the Galway Arts Festival last year but I wasn't in it then. I feel really lucky that I am in it.

"It is a real, beautiful play. Sonya Kelly is an actor and writer and she is a very witty woman and this is a smart comedy full of one-liners and I suppose sort of cryptic pieces.

"I am in the one in the middle. It centres around the idea of furniture being the connecting point between characters, sort of about the worth people put on possessions or in the case of relationships sometimes the other person might not have that connection.

"We are a lesbian couple in my piece that have only known each other a month after meeting on Tinder and decided to move in together. I move into my character's partner's (Helen Norton) beautiful home with my things which don't complement her things, our values are so different. It is about the material world too and how much importance is put on stuff whereas in terms of human connection it is not given as much worth," Ruth explained.

The play is divided into three segments with the first based with a couple in a gallery exhibition, the second features Ruth while the third is about the story of an older, dying gay man and his nephew and about who gets what when the man dies. "It is a very funny play, a comedy that arises out of something other people take very seriously.

"In the third piece it looks at the importance you place on things and then after you are gone what happens to them and who gets them.

"Furniture isn't sentimental, rugs won't remember the dances, wardrobes won't remember the clothes, it is such a beautiful piece of theatre, I suppose it is like a mirror to our lives, about our own frailties.

"It may sound serious but it is very, very funny and wacky. My piece is really high-octane.

"There are six actors in total, all beautiful people to work with.

"It is really lovely touring around Ireland and I am really looking forward to going to Sligo and Donegal too.

"I was in Sligo many times at the Feis Ceoil and we have good family friends there.

"I have a lovely sentimentality with Sligo, I remember performing in the Hawk's Well with the Feis Ceoil and I was there 11 years ago too with Turn of the Screw. I am really excited to be going back," Ruth added.

Her career began after studying acting in Trinity College back in 2000 and she has been based in the city since.

"I never went to London, I stayed in Dublin. I had a child when I was 25 so I was early to motherhood!

"I feel very lucky with what I have done over the years, with the Abbey and Gate etc.

"I haven't much else right now for the rest of the year, that is the precariousness of the business but I am also into singing and am a singing teacher so it is nice to have that balance too," Ruth added.

Furniture comes to the Hawk's Well theatre on April 12th and 13th.

Sligo Champion