February Blog: Loving A Murderer

It’s been a busy month for me, mostly with reviews rather than writing if I’m honest, but that’s not a bad thing. I’m still progressing with my novel Attrition, albeit slowly at the moment, and though I’m obviously biased I really love the story and the characters. Well, as much as it’s possible to love a story about the murder of a child and his mother by their housemaid. Kitty Coyne, my protagonist, despite her clear faults, is a fantastic person to write. Though young (she’s only 15) she’s trying to make the best life she can for herself but unfortunately she’s making a lot of bad choices. She’s an opportunist and in order to get what she wants she’s taking every chance that comes her way, even if it’s to the detriment of those she’s meant to be caring for. Her second murder is just about to occur and this time no one will believe it was an accident. However, being a minor herself the court won’t be able to try her as an adult so she will, at the very least, avoid the gallows.

Smock Allies Scene + Heard, the festival of new work at Smock Alley Theatre, is currently underway and has plenty of gems to offer. I’ve been to a few so far and they’ve all had their own special qualities. The festival itself is a great opportunity to showcase new work and offer a taster of what is ultimately a show in development. Shows are paired up into blocks, usually with 30 minutes per show, meaning that each block lasts just over 1 hour without an interval. It’s a great way of checking out new and exciting ideas, as well as seeing something that you might not otherwise go to see. Many shows that preview at Scene + Heard will be further developed into longer pieces. I reviewed two shows, Mic Drop and May I Use the Bathroom Please?, both of which were enjoyable in different ways. Week Three commences today and the programme can be viewed here.

Earlier this month I was back on RTÉ Arena to review The Successful TD and I’ll be joining them again next month for another review. It’s been an interesting development to my review repertoire and a very enjoyable one at that. I had the pleasure of interviewing actor Bryan Murray for this website about his upcoming show Dave at Large. I’ll be transcribing the interview later this week and it will be online in the run up to the show. Dave at Large, written by Brian McAvera, is about Irish comedian Dave Allen and takes a glance into his personal life as well the public performer many of us knew. Not only is Bryan Murray portraying Dave but so are Michael Bates and Tara Breathnach. It certainly sounds like it’s going to be a fun show- more to follow in the coming weeks.

As usual I feel like I’m not writing enough, which isn’t wholly true, I know, but I’m trying to remain positive about what I am getting done. The slightly brightening evenings have given me a bit of a boost and will hopefully bring with them a general revitalisation. It’s easy to focus on what isn’t going well rather than what is, so I need to remind myself to reflect on the good stuff every once in a while and, importantly, to enjoy the journey. I’ve plenty of work to do but I’ll get there and hopefully the effort will be worth it in the long run.

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