MERMAID Arts Centre will stage the debut play by TV and radio presenter Keith Walsh on Tuesday, November 30.
Having finished up a five-year stint presenting a breakfast show on national radio, Mr Walsh finally found a bit of time for himself. He decided to take a step back, to try and figure out what the hell was going on in his head
He started to go to therapy, but struggled to put a label on the way he was feeling. What was it? Midlife crisis? Midlife awakening? Breakdown? Well, his family thought he was going mad. What he did do was go on a journey to find and chat to his demons and to find the real person underneath the fuzzy mess of stress. What happened in his childhood that made him unable to access the emotions he needed to tackle life in his 40s?
This autobiographical tale also contains a witty and very identifiable take on growing up in the midlands in 1980s Ireland.
‘Pure Mental’ is Mr Walsh’s first work as a playwright, and he has risen to the challenge with the help of director, dramaturg and co-writer Janet Moran (‘A Holy Show’, ‘Swing’, ‘My Romantic History’ and ‘Looking for America’).
“It’s been great to have the play to focus on at this time”, he said.
“Working with Janet has been a dream. To be honest, when I realised that what I was writing might work on stage, she was the first person I thought of. I sent her what I’d written and she was up for it. So here we are. No turning back now. To be honest...it’s all a bit mental.”
An acclaimed writer and performer, Ms Moran has brought a wealth of staging expertise to Mr Walsh’s script. The pair have been working together over the last year, honing the theatrical elements of ‘Pure Mental’ and fine-tuning the comedic aspects of this funny, open-hearted play, which has been supported by the Riverbank Arts Centre.
‘Pure Mental’ is currently on a national tour to 17 venues, presented by Riverbank Arts Centre.
Tickets for ‘Pure Mental’ at Mermaid Arts Centre are €20. For more information or to book, visit mermaidartscentre.ie.