In conjunction with the performances of I ♥ Alice ♥ I, HotForTheatre, Marriage Equality and Project Arts Centre are thrilled and honoured to presentCall to Conscience.
We’ve asked well known, and well loved, Irish citizens to speak on the upcoming marriage referendum after each performance. Frances Fitzgerald T.D., Colm O’Gorman, Ailbhe Smyth and others, will speak on the many reasons why you should vote yes, and will also give you some messages to tell your loved ones.
It’s an important time in our history, let’s all share our freedom to marry and #sharethelove #weheartequality.
Clonmel Champion & HotForTheatre Fan Aisling Kilroy
I ♥ Alice ♥ I is 75 minutes of captivating, stimulating, moving and funny theatre. At its core, it’s a love story. A love story between two people who have been together for almost 30 years. We learn about each of their eccentricities, their bad habits and their good habits. We learn something about their past lives and loves, some of it good, some of it not so good. We learn about their families, their friendships, their personalities and their present lives. We come to understand what it is they love about each other. We can see that theirs is a true love story, that they are each other’s best friend and lover, that they make each other laugh a lot, cry sometimes, that they are a true support to each other. And that as they face into their twilight years, there is a certain concern as to what the future holds. That I ♥ Alice ♥ I is a love story between two women, Alice Kinsella and Alice Slattery, is almost incidental.
I ♥ Alice ♥ I is a beautiful piece of theatre, written by Amy Conroy. The language is everyday, easy to understand and yet so carefully considered. The acting is also beautiful. Amy Conroy and Claire Barrett make is look so simple and easy – a credit to their talent as actors and to Amy Conroy as director. If you have even the slightest interest in theatre, you must go and see I ♥ Alice ♥ I when it comes to the White Memorial Theatre on 6,7 and 8 July next .
Alice Kinsella and Alice Slattery have lived a quiet life together for almost thirty years, but a chance “public display of affection” in a supermarket is the catalyst that gently coaxes them onto a stage to tell us their story.
It hasn’t all been beer and skittles, or Blue Nun and cakes as they might say themselves. They’ve had as many ups and downs as most couples, but for all the lows there have been plenty of highs. Accomplished world travellers, Alice and Alice have shared their life with audiences from Dublin to the UK, America, Australia and New Zealand, and now they are home. Since I first saw them back in 2010, I’ve been almost protective of them in my own mind, out there in the big bad world, so I’m delighted that they are coming back to see me and my people in Kildare!
We have shared tastes in Dusty Springfield, shopping in Superquinn and intentionally mispronouncing words, but I defy anyone not to identify with these two. They will take you from wry smiles to hearty laughter, and, unless you’re made of stone, maybe a little tear and snuffle in between. Afterwards, you may also feel a need to phone your mother, go visit your aunties or give your granny a hug and kiss. If on your travels you come across a parade of rainbow flags this summer, you might catch yourself looking out for some more Alices.
Alice and Alice remind us that theirs is a love that can be found everywhere, we just need to look a bit closer to see it sometimes. – Alice Farrell, Kildare, June 2013
The play opens to a scene of two ladies-of-a-certain-age recounting all the petty annoyances and mundanities that are recognisable to people in most long term relationships, a laundry list of irritating mannerisms and preferences that, after all, are the bread and butter of knowing and loving another person intimately. The two women are the Alices, Alice Slattery and Alice Kinsella and for the next eighty or so minutes you will find yourself drawn into a world that is the shared relationship and history of two women who, after a lifetime of invisibility, have chosen to reveal themselves to the world. As the play progresses the initial inventory of personal tics gives way to reveal an honest account of real love, love that is neither convenient nor shallow but instead an entity that carries with it strength to sustain in times of crisis and confusion.
I found myself re-evaluating my own prejudices and received wisdoms throughout the performance, why did I first giggle at the notion of two old ladies who were also lesbians? I don’t believe I am homophobic but initially it was such a new or unlikely scenario. We simply do not see this represented often enough. The sexualisation of society in general, and in particular the way in which women are commodified and labelled according to desirability, has paradoxically resulted in a sterile version of sexuality, a maddeningly narrow and paltry landscape. So while this play is about a lesbian couple it is also about all kinds of invisible people, who because of gender, age or not conforming to the preferred societal aesthetic are still out there living and loving. It’s a reminder of the life-affirming nature of love written with humour and tenderness but with an underlying radical message. – Claire Zwaartman, Glengarriff, Co. Cork, June 2013
Book your tickets for the Cork Midsummer Festival here
Donkey hearder and HotForTheatre fan Craig Flaherty
JOLTer Craig Flaherty tells us about his experience of meeting the Alices
Ever since we met you had a hold on me…
It was Valentines night 2012 when I went on a theatre date with Alice Slattery and Alice Kinsella in the Peacock Theatre. Having heard so much about the show from friends and theatre goers and knowing the two fantastic actors that are Amy Conroy and Clare Barrett I decided I could not miss the show, again… so off I went to be part of one of the most heartfelt love stories I have witnessed on stage.
Storytelling at its finest, simple and inclusive. Two women standing before you, recalling their own habits, each others habits, their experiences and their life together. A friendship anyone would be jealous of, the friend that knows you better than anyone else in the whole world.
Well over a year since I first seen I ♥ ALICE ♥ I, I still remember how I felt at the end of the performance; Delighted, Happy leaving the theatre with a big smile on my face. Any play that leaves you leaving the theatre with a smile on your face is one worth going to see in my opinion. Bring your friend, brother, sister, mother or whoever, just go and be part of their story. Somewhere there is a little bit of the Alices in all of us.
Emma Martin – Meath native, Carlow resident, toddler wrangler
By Emma Martin- Meath native, Carlow resident, toddler wrangler
I ♥ Alice ♥ I is the sort of show that fills your heart with a feeling of total love and compassion for life and humanity. Alice Kinsella and Alice Slattery, beautifully performed by Amy Conroy and Clare Barrett, are two very ordinary and extraordinary women. The Alices could be your neighbour, auntie or the woman you see at the bus stop every day. They share their lives and love story with us and you can’t help but feel privileged to be present in the audience as they do so. The respect and care given to the telling of their quietly proud love story is inspiring and heart-warming. Alice and Alice share their heart fluttering, blushing, giggly and heart breaking memories and daily trivialities, leaving you with the feeling that you’ve witnessed a life affirming account of love. I’m so delighted that this show is coming to the George Bernard Shaw Theatre, during the Carlow Arts Festival on June 8th, mainly so that I will get to see it again and share the experience with my family and friends. I want everyone to see it!
Cahersiveen native and avid iphone listener Elaine Clifford
You fall in love with the two Alice’s immediately, you cant help it…..you are so nervous for them because they are so scared to be there. All you want to do is go onto the stage, give them a hug and hold their hands. Tell them they will be alright, they will get through this and that we will leave in the end having listened to them tell their tender and heartfelt love-story.
Being lucky enough to call her a friend and growing up along side the ever acting, ever performing talented Amy Conroy (writer/actor) but not having had the pleasure of seeing Amy or Clare Barrett perform on the “real” stage I couldn’t have chosen a better masterpiece than the Alice’s for my first experience of both these actors. Their brilliant performance as Alice Slattery and Alice Kinsella brings you on a journey of friendship and love, with laughter and sadness. You cant help but ask yourself is my relationship like theirs, a feeling of hope resonated deep in my heart because what the Alices have, I want. Friendship to begin with but through sharing the itsy bitsy boring, mundane trials and tribulations of every day life this friendship becomes much more and in the end a simple kiss in the aisle of a shopping centre seals the fate of these two beautiful and courageous women.
Winning the 2010 Fishamble New Writing Award at the 2010 ABSOLUT Fringe Awards was no accident….Through brilliant play writing Amy Conroy allows us to be intimate with these two characters, falling under their spell because you don’t want to miss a single word of that they have to say to each other and about each other I ♥ Alice ♥ I made me laugh, made me cry but most of all made me feel warm in my heart. Doesn’t matter if you are young or old, single or married, gay or straight, if you want to see a true love story then I ♥ Alice ♥ I is a must see.
Self confessed FEEDER and top soup chef at Betelnut Café at Draíocht, Will O’Reilly, shares his thought’s on ‘Eternal Rising of the Sun’ …
Gina Devine, the outspoken, shape-throwing heroine of HotFORTheatre’s ‘Eternal Rising of the Sun’, is unhappy. Tormented by an abusive father, struggling through a teenage pregnancy and inheriting an idiotic boyfriend, Gina finds solace at the back of a local contemporary dance class. Her struggle to keep up with teacher Anton’s instructions illustrates her steely determination, a determination that has kept her afloat in a difficult life so far and she spares us nothing as she imparts her disturbing tale with humour, strength and poignancy.
I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of Amy Conroy, the actor/writer behind this powerful piece of theatre, during its rehearsal stage at Draíocht, whenever she popped out to me for (a much needed, I’m guessing!) coffee. Her modesty and soft Kerry accent belied the incredibly resilient, and uniquely Dublin, character that she, alongside director Veronica Coburn, were creating on a daily basis over the summer of 2011. With my interest piqued after our conversations, I went along to one of its earliest performances at the Dublin Fringe Festival. Words failed me after the stage went dark at the end of Gina’s account and I soon realised that I wasn’t alone. A stunned audience momentarily silenced by Amy Conroy’s powerful performance and trying to process what they had all laid witness to, leapt to a rapturous ovation.
I won’t lie to you; this is an incredibly upsetting play, difficult to watch at times but impossible not to. Gina, however, is a natural born story teller and she laces her account with a wicked sense of humour and some neat dance moves to boot. There is redemption, albeit difficult to swallow and an awareness that comes to Gina through the title of this piece.
‘Eternal Rising of the Sun’ has stayed with me long after its curtain fell, and the fate of Gina (and all the ‘Gina’s out there) have niggled at the back of my head ever since. Gina’s story needs our ‘courage to be seen’ and I look forward to its return to Draíocht.
Dún Laoghaire local and Pavilion regular Jean O’Dwyer previews Eternal Rising of the Sun
“I am happy and sad all at the same time” says the character Gina Devine and I find myself happy and sad all at the same time while watching this moving piece of theatre. Amy Conroy, actor and writer, gives us 90 minutes of a thoroughly engaging performance. Familiar sounds, place names, songs are dotted throughout this play which grinds us into its shocking contemporary reality. I too watched Danger Mouse, listened to Michael Jackson, danced in my bedroom, went to The Temple nite club but not with the same horrific backdrop as Gina had. We know the signs now, we can read in between the lines of Gina’s story as it unfolds – self loathing, anger, bruising and fear, this is not a good story, this is an epic tale of sadness set in our city, our community.
I haven’t cried at the theatre before, at a film or while watching the tv yes, but Gina’s story and Amy’s performance was utterly bewitching. There are moments in this play that make you angry, fearful and ultimately hopeful. The calibre of work performing at The Pavilion in Dun Laoighaire never lets me down and HotForTheatre’s production on May 9th is a show not to be missed.
I am so pleased that Gina doesn’t reflect a sore parody on real proletarian grievances. Every honest morsel; a motion, a fading thought, a creeping smile -evokes truth. I feel her joyriding growing pains, as if they are my own. Her justified anger versus tame humility is my endeavour. She invites me in, with open arms and balled fists, to her worldly aura. Trusts me. Teaches me. Tells me to be unafraid by bearing her own unbridled fear, adorned in her caricature-esque bravado. An honourable exchange.
Amy Conroy allows us to access an intimate view of rawness through Ginas’ eyes. Blows to her esteem, we take personally. We become involved, willingly. She plots tender hearted vengeance and we accompany her, armed with the fervour, she, herself emanates. Feeling her war wounds. Seeing her battle scars, radiant and proud. A depiction of parental role reversal with an inspirational dignity. Past, present and future dwell together, paradoxically, in harmony via tempestuous means. A living, breathing, growling, collage-framed by the thick air of omnipresent power.
Holistic. Proportional. Righteous.
Eternal Rising Of The Sun – theatre that shames vibrant to pale, tempts thoughts to tangible, entices emotions palpable.
This production presented by HotForTheatre filled up the cathartic hole of hunger in my soul.
She is to me, who Michael Jackson is to Gina.
Never have I meant : “not to be missed” more.
Theatre that, not only reminds you who you are, but that you are alive.