Interview with Brokentalkers’ Feidlim Cannon – Have I No Mouth

We got the chance to talk to Feidlim Cannon of Brokentalkers about the return of their production “Have I No Mouth”. You can see the results below:

Find out more about Brokentalkers here.

The Everyman Cork | 8pm Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd May

Project Arts Centre Dublin | 7.30pm Friday 5th & Saturday 6th May

Mermaid Arts Centre Bray | 8pm Friday 12th May

Can you explain how you start a project? Do you have many ideas or concepts that never reach fruition?  

Lots of ideas don’t make it, it’s really about what it is you are passionate about, what will get you up in the morning and drive your day. For Gary and I, everything begins with a conversation, we converse about many subjects, personal, national and global.

These early chats help navigate the direction a project will take. Once we have reached a decision or at least have short-listed some ideas, we discuss the form the project may take. In a devising/writing workshop we use the “ideas wall” – we cover a wall with headings like Theme, Action, Image, Text, Movement and try to answer each heading with as many examples as we can. Nothing is random. We go through a rigorous research period and a detailed dramaturgy.

This is a very personal reaction to the death of your father. Was it part of your grieving process?

It has become that. I didn’t expect it would be. Making the show with my mother has certainly helped me deal with things in a more positive way.

This production was first staged in 2012​ and has been performed many times since. As grief alters over time, have your feeling towards the piece altered, or is it part of keeping your father’s memory alive?

The production is still a tangled and thorny exercise for my mother and I to perform in. Yes, grief alters over time but you carry it every day. And as life has moved on since we first performed the piece the script evolves. One example is my father became a grandfather last year, so that’s a new event that has been added to the script. Memory is all I have of my father now so Have I No Mouth does help to keep that memory alive.

While it is a dark subject, the piece has a lot of humour. Is it important to keep the tone upbeat, despite the subject matter?

Absolutely! It was important to make a piece of work that didn’t bear hug sentimentally but did embrace humour.

Do you consider a play ever truly finished, or do they continue to evolve? Will this production be different to previous productions of the same play?

Gary and I always look to make improvements. Every opportunity we are lucky enough to show a piece of work is a chance for  progression. So in that way it will never truly be finished, and it shouldn’t be. Yes, Have I No Mouth will be different, we continually work to keep it fresh.

The production also stars your mother. What reaction did you get when you first approached your mum about appearing on stage?

My mother was immediately supportive. She said she was expecting me to ask at some point. What she didn’t expect was being on stage with me. Have I No Mouth is a living document of our relationship and we will always have that.

On Tour:

The Everyman Cork | 8pm Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd May

Tickets: €20 / €18 concessions /  €9 students – Tel: + 353 (0)21 450 1673 |
Project Arts Centre Dublin | 7.30pm Friday 5th & Saturday 6th May –

Tickets: €14 – €16 – Tel: + 353 (0)1 8819 613 |


Mermaid Arts Centre Bray | 8pm Friday 12th May

Tickets: €16 / €14 concessions

Tel: + 353 (0)1 2724030 | Web: http://www.mermaidartscentre.ie



@Brokentalkers @projectarts @EverymanCork @mermaidarts

Categories: Header, interview, Theatre

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