Na Doirse – New Film about Disability Coming in 2024

Na Doirse is a short Irish-language film with a message about accessibility.  A fictionalised version of the real-life experience of disabled mature student, the film takes the format of a one-woman show, but as a film rather than on stage.  The main character is in hospital after making an attempt at suicide.  She is talking to a psychiatrist, but we neither see or hear the doctor.

As the film is currently being entered into festivals, it will not be available for public viewing or on general release until mid-2024, therefore we can’t go into too much detail about it at this point.  However, it has been very well received by the people who have seen it privately – it was made as part of an MA thesis, and was awarded first class honours.

Watch this space in 2024 for more details!

Actors with Irish Wanted for a Short Film in Galway City

Loosely based on Persuasion by Jane Austen, Áitiú agus Ionracas is a retelling of that novel set in modern-day Ireland.  Áine has spent her adult life taking care of her invalid mother, whose recent death has meant Áine finally gets to start her own life in earnest.  When she was a teenager, she was in love with another girl, but she let her go to start a new life in the US, on the advice of her brother, for several reasons which seemed to make sense at the time.

At the start of the film, Áine is about to start a new job as assistant to the artistic director of a local theatre, when she finds out that Freddie, the love of her life, has moved back from America.  On the first day of her new job, she meets another new employee, a stage manager recently returned from the US …

This is a student film, for the MA (Cleachtas Gairmiúil sna Meáin) in University of Galway.  The film will probably also be entered into festivals.  Seán Breathnach, director of the feature film Foscadh, is mentoring this film’s director.  Unfortunately there is no pay, but you will get a copy of the finished film for your showreel.  The filming will take place in a couple of locations in Galway City, including the Taibhdhearc, the national theatre for the Irish language.

There is a lot of interest in Irish language films at the moment, both in Ireland and internationally, and this is a chance to be part of this movement.  You don’t need to be 100% fluent – the crew will be working through English – you just need to be able to say your own lines fluently and understand the other actors’ line and the story of the film.

If you would like to be considered for one of the roles, please email the director, Mary Tynan, at with your CV and headshot (small file please – if there’s a photo on your CV that’s fine) and a link to your showreel if you have one.


12, 13 & 14 February in Galway City


Playing Age: 35 – 50
Middle-aged woman, lesbian, stage manager
This character kisses two other women in the film – the actor will need to be comfortable with this

Playing Age: 40 – 60
Middle-aged man, Áine’s brother

Playing Age: 30 – 60
Woman, artistic director of the theatre


Ag Lorg Aisteoirí le Gaeilge le haghaidh Gearrscannáin i gCathair na Gaillimhe

Is athinsint ar Persuasion le Jane Austen é Áitiú agus Ionracas.  Chaith Áine a saol mar duine fásta go dtí seo ag tabhairt aire lena máthair easlán, a fuair bás le déanaí.  Anois tá deis ag Áine dul i gceann an tsaoil faoi dheireadh.  Nuair a bhí sí óg, bhí sí i ngrá le cailín, ach scar sí uirthi mar bhí deis ag an gcailín saol nua a thosú sna SA.  Rinne Áine é sin ar chomhairle a dearthair, mar gheall ar fáthanna éagsula a rinne ciall ag an am.

Ag tús an scannán, tá Aíne chun post nua, mar cuntóir don stiúrthóir ealaíne amharclainne áitiúla, agus faigheann sí amach go bhfuil Freddie, an cailín i gceist, tar éis bogadh ar ais ó Meiriceá.  Ar a céad lá sa phost nua, casann sí le fostaí nua eile – bainisteoir stáitse a bhog ar ais ó na SA le déanaí …

Scannán mic léinn atá ann, le haghaidh an MA (Cleachtas Gairmiúil sna Meáin) in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.  Is dócha go gcuirfear an scannán isteach i bhféilte scannán freisin.  Is é Seán Breathnach, stiúrthóir an scannáin Foscadh, meantóir stiúrthóir an scannán seo.  Ar an drochuair níl aon pá i gceist, ach gheobhaidh tú cóip an scannáin críochnaithe le haghaidh do seóspól.  Beidh an scannánaíocht ar siúl i láithreacha éagsula i gCathair na Gaillimhe, an Taibhdhearc (an amharclann naisiúnta Gaeilge) san áireamh.

Tá spéis mór i scannáin Gaeilge faoi láthair, in Éirinn agus go hidirnáisiúnta, agus seo deis bheith páirteach leis an ghluaiseacht seo.  Ní gá duit bheith líofa 100% – beidh an criú ag obair trí Bhéarla – ach caithfidh tú bheith in ann do línte a labhairt go flúirseach, agus línte na daoine eile agus scéal an scannán a thuiscint chomh maith.

Má mhaith leat triail a dhéanamh le haghaidh ról éigin, seol rphost chuig an stiúrthóir, Mary Tynan, ar le do CV agus grianghraf (beag – má tá ceann ar do CV sin ceart go leor) agus nasc do sheóspól má tá ceann agat.


12, 13 & 14 Feabhra 2023 i gCathair na Gaillimhe


Aois aisteoireachta: 35 – 50
Bean meánaosta, leispiach, bainisteoir stáitse
Pógann an carachtair seo beirt bhan eile sa scannán – caithfidh an aisteoir bheith compordach leis sin

Aois aisteoireachta: 40 – 60
Fear meánaosta, deartháir Áine

Aois aisteoireachta: 30 – 60
Bean, stiúrthóir ealaíne na hamharclainne


Snug Sings “When I’m 64,” by Aurora Adams

We’re only 1 year old, not 64, but nevertheless we hope you enjoy our second piece of the weekend by highly-talented puppeteer Aurora Adams.

Clarice the Caberet Camel, by Aurora Adams

Aurora Adams was part of our launch weekend last year, and we are delighted to have her back with us for our birthday celebrations.  If you enjoy this, you will be glad to hear that we will be having more puppetry from Aurora tomorrow.

Sat Nav Dating, by Ian Macnaughton

In a follow up to yesterday’s video dating piece from Ian MacNaughton, today he gives us a glimpse into how it must be for a sat nav looking for love.


Candidates, by Ian Macnaughton

We promised you more short comedy film from Ian MacNaughton, and here it is, helping us celebrate day one of our birthday weekend.  Before there were apps like Tinder and Grindr, even before there was internet dating on the web, there was video dating.  Would you go out with any of these gentlemen?

Please note: this video contains flashing images.


Northern Exposure, by Ian Macnaughton

You probably know Ian Macnaughton from his Covid Times column. Those of you who were at the launch concert for Xanadu Online Theatre will know that Ian is also a talented actor, and we are delighted to share one of his short films with you today. If you enjoy this one, you will be happy to learn that there are more in the pipeline.

Please note: this video contains flashing images.


The Anxiety Song, by Futzy and the Bitch

Guests at the launch concert of Xanadu Online Theatre in September 2020 would have heard this song being debuted.  Many people have had an increase in anxiety levels over the past year, but does yours have a name?

Adam Driver, by Futzy and the Bitch

Have you had any fantasies during lockdown?  They’re completely harmless, right?  I know Futzy and the Bitch have a strong marriage, so I’m not worried about them at all.

Family Matters – A One-Scene Film

Family Matters is written and acted by Mary Tynan (our artistic director) and Ian Macnaughton (our Covid Lives columnist).  Cinematography is by Graham Gunner, and location is courtesy of Jon Axford.

Stock Take, by Flaura Atkinson

This evocative short zombie film was made by Director Flaura Atkinson in 2009.  Please note that smaller children might find this a bit scary.  Parents are advised to watch the film themselves first and use their own judgement as to suitability.

The Crime of the Century

Whenever Dylan Mohan Gray, the director of Fire in the Blood, is asked what the film is about, these are the words he uses: “the crime of the century.” This impressive and highly-engrossing film tells the story of big pharma, patent law, and how profit is placed before human life.
The film tells the story of the struggle to enable access to medicine for AIDS victims in Sub-Saharan Africa, who were still dying in their millions for many years after antiretroviral drugs had transformed HIV into a treatable condition in the West. 10 million or more people died preventable deaths as a direct result of Western pharmaceutical companies and governments blocking access to affordable, available generic medicine.

The documentary puts a human face on the issue, with many memorable contributions both from well-known names and from ordinary Africans affected by the virus. HIV-positive Human rights activist Zackie Achmat refused to take antiretroviral treatment, despite rapidly failing health, until the South African government publicly funded the medicines for all. Yusuf Hamied, the chairman of Indian generic drug company CIPLA, turned the tide when he offered to supply the AIDS drugs for less than $1 a day to developing countries, and to share the technological knowledge necessary for production. Lisa Kalolo, a South-African child faced a bleak future, but thanks to ART she is now attending school and living a normal life.

However, although the AIDS situation appears to be solved, we are warned that those currently taking “first-line” ARVs will, in the future, have to change to more complex ARVs which are not, and are unlikely to be, available in generic form. Director Dylan Mohan Gray also points out that AIDS in the developing world is only part of the scandal of big pharma and patent regulation: almost 50% of Americans are unable to afford their prescriptions, and approximately 33% of deaths worldwide each year are caused by treatable and preventable diseases. This situation looks set to disimprove significantly as American and European trade measures continue to cut off the supply of affordable drugs from India.

This is an important film about a significant matter which is of relevance to anyone. The implications for the world from this issue are wide ranging, and it almost feels as if Fire in the Blood should just be the first of a series of documentaries that explores the future of access to affordable medicine. This affects us all. Please watch this film.

For more information, or to find a screening near you, visit

Mary Tynan


A Tale of two Cities

Good Vibrations and Spike Island at the London Film Festival

I had great plans for the London film festival, with many press screenings marked out on my diary.  Unfortunately timing was against me, as it turned out to be a very busy period in my other two jobs (acting and teaching), and apart from “A Liar’s Autobiography,” which got cancelled (read the article here), I actually only ended up at two screenings.  But they were good ones.

Good Vibrations

My regular readers (if there are such people) will be aware that I enjoy a bit of music from the 1980s, so I was in a positive frame of mind when I turned up to see Good Vibrations – The Story of Terri Hooley.

For every Richard Branson, there are probably hundreds of Terri Hooleys.  Known as the Godfather of Ulster Punk, Terri was the owner of Good Vibrations record shop and label, was responsible for discovering the Undertones, and encouraged punk and alternative music to flourish during a dark time in Northern Ireland’s history.  I imagine that there were people like him in towns and cities all over the UK and Ireland during the 70s and 80s; running record shops, managing and/or playing in bands, and organising events.  Do these people ever make a profit in the long run or do their charming mix of naivety and idealism work against them in the end?  Good Vibrations never released a top 40 record, and Terri sold the rights to “Teenage Kicks” for £500 and a signed photo of The Shangri Las (which he never got.)  But that isn’t the point, as this film shows: Terri Hooley made a lot of people very happy, which was in itself no mean feat in Belfast at the height of the troubles.

This was a highly enjoyable film from start to finish.  Richard Dormer made an excellent Terri, and I particularly enjoyed Jodie Whittaker’s performance as his wife.  It’s hard to pick out anyone else as cast lists are not given out at press screening, but everyone performed very well.  It would have been nice to have a few more female characters – maybe some girls who hung around the record shop for instance – but apart from that I completely loved it.  One particularly memorable scene is when an RUC officer is hassling a girl in a bar for suspected underage drinking and Terri comes over and tells him he’d like to report a civil war.  Scenes like these show the bravery of the character as well as the naivety and idealism.

Of course, being a film about music, the soundtrack is a major part of the experience.  Set in a fertile time for Northern Irish music, the tracks chosen add to the energy and exuberance of the story, as obviously does the setting with its air of menace just under the surface.

Go and see this if you’re interested in music, Belfast, or just plain enjoy a good film.

Spike Island

Good Vibrations is a true story about a real man, with a real record shop/label, and the punk scene in Belfast, whereas Spike Island, my second choice of film, is a coming of age drama set in Manchester in the 1990s with the music of the Stone Roses providing more of a secondary theme.  As such it worked well, and the soundtrack (a mix of the Roses and the characters own band, Shadow Caster) added greatly to the ambience and power of the film.  The characters did seem to blend into each other a bit at points, and some of what could have been more potent moments could have been better explained (I was never sure why one boy joined the army for instance).  Having more female characters would have added more variety, and this film does not have the excuse of being a true story as a reason for not doing so.  Teenagers since the 1960s or 1970s onwards generally tend to hang around in groups of both sexes (I did) and the whole male bonding theme seemed to me a little old-fashioned.

That said, the music really lifts everything up, and the festival atmosphere of Spike Island and young love is captured perfectly (leaving aside the dubious morality of deserting your father on his deathbed to go to a Stone Roses concert that you don’t even have tickets for!)

Once again, I am hampered by a lack of a cast list, however everyone concerned gave a very competent performance, with Emilia Clarke standing out in particular.

Go and see this film if you enjoy a good coming of age drama with an excellent soundtrack, or want to recapture your youth!

Mary Tynan

A Liar’s Autobiography

Anyone who knows me reasonably well will be aware of my penchant for Python (almost to the point of annoyance sometimes to those who don’t share my sense of humour), so, as you can imagine, I was looking forward to this film enormously.  Unfortunately, I am still looking forward to it!  Due to technical hitches with both the 3D and 2D versions, the press screening failed to take place at the allotted time, and the press conference went ahead with the majority of journalists present (myself included) not having seen the film.  Which could be described as just a little bit silly …..

Director Bill Jones described Graham Chapman’s memorial service as the first time he got drunk, and spoke of the film as a way of celebrating Chapman’s life and achievements.  Terry Jones spoke of Graham as a complex individual who didn’t really understand himself and who was looking for who he was.  Michael Palin described the film as a homage to Graham, and confirmed that it was as close to a Python reunion as we were ever likely to get.  Both spoke of Graham’s sense of stillness, and described him as their leading actor.  As the press hadn’t seen the film yet, a lot of the questions from the floor were more generally about the Python oeuvre than specifically about the film in question, which led to some interesting reminiscing such as Terry Jones describing smuggling the tapes of Series I out of the BBC to copy on a Phillips VCR before they were destroyed.

The screening has been rescheduled for 4pm this afternoon, but unfortunately one of my other jobs prevents my attending (plug for The Castle at the Lord Stanley in Camden, opening tonight:) but I can tell you that the film uses audio recordings of Graham’s reading of his book, subtitled The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, combined with different styles of animation to reflect the different styles of humour, with fourteen different animation studios being involved in the production.  Not having seen it yet, I cannot give an informed opinion as to it’s watchability, but with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones all involved (Terry Jones plays Graham’s mother, apparently), not to mention the late Graham Chapman (as himself) I know I definitely will be giving it a viewing as soon as I get the chance.

And now for something completely different.

A Liar’s Autobiography is showing tonight at 9pm at Leiceister Square Empire and on Friday at VUE West End at 3pm as part of the London Film Festival.

Mary Tynan