Q&A with Kate Stanley Brennan – THISISPOPBABY – SHIT
Project Arts Centre:
SHIT By Patricia Cornelius
2-5 March | 8pm, 5 March | 2pm
You must have been delighted with the response to Conversation After Sex in the Theatre Festival last year. What did you think of it when you first read the script? It must be a natural to be converted to the big screen. Have you heard any whispers?
I had done several workshops with Mark O’Halloran over the course of a few years leading up to the festival in 2021, so I saw it develop first hand – it was a privilege to be part of. I love the script – Mark’s language is beautiful, and equally what’s not being said in this play, is just as beautiful – he’s a bit of a genius 🙂 In terms of an afterlife for that show – I know nothing!
Can you tell the readers a little about this production (Shit) and your part in it?
Shit is an award-winning Australian play by Patricia Cornelius that we have reimagined with director Jenny Jennings and choreographer Philip Connaughton to a Dublin setting – it transposes to the Dublin vernacular really well as the language is surprisingly very similar. The play is about three foul-mouthed, downtrodden humorous women who we meet in a room together. We find out throughout the course of the play where they are and what happened to them. My character Billie is the “leader” of the gang, she is incredibly hardened by life and is pretty terrifying – but I love her.
This production fell foul of the early stages of the pandemic. What stage were you at when you realised it wasn’t going to happen?
We were literally at opening night in 2020 as part of Where We Live Festival! Our opening night very quickly became our closing night due to the very first Covid lockdown – it will be surreal opening the show this week (March 3, 2022) just as masks will no longer be mandatory and exactly 2 yrs later. But its thrilling to know that people can now see the work, at last.
The pandemic was a particularly difficult time for those involved in live performance. How did you get through it?
Yes, it was extremely difficult for live performers, I really missed gigging in clubs and venues and performing in the theatre. I decided to make a short film “Cherry” however, which is now doing the film festival circuit – it was a huge learning experience and has given me the directing bug and I’m currently in production for my second short as part of Screen Ireland’s Actor as Creator Scheme.
It is the 15 year anniversary of THISISPOPBABY. How important do you think they have become to the Irish theatre landscape?
Only for them! THISISPOPBABY has grown to become one of the most important companies in Irish theatre. They make the type of shows I want to go and see myself, and they are so in touch with what’s going on and what’s coming down the line. I am so proud to be associated with this trailblazing company and this ferocious play. Get your tickets if there are any left!!