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Jan 31 2019

Busy Decadent bring Port Authority to Town Hall

In 2018, Decadent Theatre Company Company sent three productions on tour:  The Mai by Marina Carr which received its first production since 1994; Frank McGuinness’ modern classic, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me; and Martin McDonagh’s Skull in Connemara. Together, they brought quality drama to eighteen theatres around Ireland.

Decadent Theatre Company will be on the road in February 2019 with a five-venue tour of Conor McPherson’s Port Authority after the opening in the Town Hall Theatre in February 12  and playing to Saturday 16th. Follow the link for full list of venues and dates:

A young boy leaves home for the first time, a man begins a job for which he is not qualified, a pensioner receives a mysterious package. As each man confronts the significance of these events, they are forced to take stock of themselves, their feelings, and of the decisions they have made.

Painting a vivid picture of life in contemporary Dublin, award-winning playwright Conor McPherson (Seafarer, The Weir & Shining City) weaves together a moving and funny tale of loves lost and found, the consequences of big dreams and the significance of even our smallest choices.

Port Authority is a play for anyone who has ever chosen the rational over the risky, who has ever drawn away from the possibility of brilliance, being left to wonder what might have been.

“We strive to emphasize the best features of Ireland's modern dramatic tradition for audiences of all sizes. As commerce and art become increasingly indistinguishable in the 21st century, it is clear that theatre can be geared towards an urban, monied elite - sometimes great shows never breach a city's limit,” says Flynn, who founded the Company in 2000. “We attempt to turn this tide by providing brilliant theatre not only for urban hubs but also for the men and women of Irish small towns through our tours.”

Under the guidance of founder and artistic director Andrew Flynn, the Galway-based company strives to bring theatre out of urban centres and into Ireland’s often overlooked towns.  It is especially fitting that one of those rural outposts is the setting for Abbie Spallen’s Pumpgirl,which Decadent tours to ten venues around Ireland in May 2019.

Pumpgirl is a turbo-charged race through the diesel fumes and country music of the Co. Armagh badlands.  The grimly comic play takes audiences deep into the unspoken thoughts and darkest desires of three damaged characters living on ‘the wrong side’ of the bleak and boggy border.  They are destined to collide, with explosive results.

Reflecting on the convergence of subject and location, Spallen says, “I live in Newry.  I spend my days in a rural area, the same back roads in which the play is set.  I firmly believe that Andrew is right to take the play to similar areas.”

“I also know how the play is received in those areas,” she continues. “I have sat in the audience, listened to people talking during the interval, and after the show.  They took pride in the play, a sense of ownership.  This was a play for them and about them.  It didn’t think them stupid and it doesn’t allow them to ‘hide’.  It is a play that straddles two things.  It is gritty and demotic but also of literary worth.”

Pumpgirl has been staged on Broadway, in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Finland, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.  Yet it has been seen in the Republic of Ireland only once, when Andrew Flynn directed it for the Galway International Arts Festival in 2017. 

A grant from the Arts Council’s Touring and Dissemination of Work Scheme allows him to bring this acclaimed work by one of Ireland’s brightest young talents to audiences all over the island. 

A testament to Abbie Spallen’s stature as a dramatist is her many awards.  She has received the Blackburn Prize, the Stewart Parker Award, the Dublin Corporation Bursary for Literature, and the Windham Campbell Prize for literary achievement from Yale University with a purse of $165,000 [€148k].

Spallen welcomes the renewed collaboration with Decadent Theatre Company which specialises in the ambitious and expensive undertaking of large-scale theatre tours.

Decadent Theatre Company, a leading force in Irish theatre, announces an ambitious and diverse programme of productions that will roll-out from early 2019 and into 2020.  It’s invention as well as reinvention for Decadent, with Andrew Flynn commissioning three new stage works: An adaptation of Donal Ryan’s novel, The Thing About December and a new play by Billy Roche, both set to premiere in 2019, as well as an original work by Mary Elizabeth Burke-Kennedy slated for 2020.

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