Anita Reeves and Stephen Brenan in 'Halcyon Days'.
Prior to its staging as part of the Dublin Theatre festival next week, Deirdre Kinihan's new play 'Halycon Days' previews in Navan's Solstice Theatre this week. There is a large local interest in the production - Kinihan is the internationally renowned playwright whose Tall Tales Theatre company is the company in residence at Solstice, while the set and costume designer for the production is the acclaimed Maree Kearns from Trim.
'Halcyon Days' is a celebration of the human spirit and our quest for meaning in even the most seemingly hopeless circumstance. Starring Anita Reeves and Stephen Brennan, this poignant new work is a celebration of the human spirit and the quest for meaning in even the most seemingly hopeless circumstance.
Seán (Brennan) sits alone in a nursing-home conservatory, abandoned to his memories when in storms Patricia (Reeves), a feisty woman with a zest for life and for handsome men in wheelchairs. A wary intimacy soon develops between the two, an unforeseen relationship by turns charming and combative, tender and funny.
'Halcyon Days' was originally developed as a short play for the Abbey Theatre's Fairer Sex reading series (Salad Day) and subsequently developed by the Tall Tales with the support of the Stewart Parker Trust.
This week's production is a play about facing fears and bucking against despair, directed by David Horan, with lighting by Kevin Smith, original sound by composer Trevor Knight, and the design by Maree Kearns from Trim.
'Halcyon Days' is Maree's second production with Tall Tales, having previously designed 'Moment' in 2010/11. Most recently she has designed 'Macbeth' for Second Age Theatre Company, for whom she has also designed 'Dancing at Lughnasa' and 'Hamlet'.
She has worked extensively as the set and costume designer with Livin' Dredd Theatre Company and Nomad Theatre Network, whose productions include 'Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme' for which she received the 2009 Irish Times best set design award, 'The Dead School' (Irish Times best costume designer and best production nominee 2008), 'Conversations on a Homecoming', 'There Came a Gypsy Riding', 'Heading for Dakota' and 'Shoot the Crow'.
She was the design co-ordinator for the Abbey and Peacock theatres during their centenary year. Maree has also worked as production designer and in art departments on many Irish and international television series, films, advertising and documentary dramas.
A special gala evening will take place at Solstice on Friday 5th October at 8pm. All guests will be greeted with a wine reception and a signed copy of the published 'Halcyon Days' script. Guests will also have an opportunity to meet the cast and crew members.
'Halcyon Days' runs at Solstice Arts Centre in Navan from Thursday 4th to Saturday 6th October, before its premiere at the Dublin Theatre Festival, where it opens at Smock Alley Theatre on Tuesday next, 9th October.