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


Call for Actors, Writers, Technicians – Xanadu Theatre

Notes From Xanadu will shortly be opening on online theatre as part of the arts centre.  There will be an in-house theatre company associated with this exciting new venture.  At this point we are calling for expressions of interest from the following:

  • Actors: please send a CV and (small) headshot.
  • Writers: please send a CV and a short example of your writing – a page or two is fine.  We are particularly interested in developing scripts that are specifically written for the medium, ie none of the actors are in the same room as each other.  Bheadh suim againn in obair as Gaeilge freisin.
  • Technicians: are you interested in becoming involved in this emerging art form?  Please send a CV or letter detailing any relevant experience in IT, film, television or theatre.

Applications should be sent to, to arrive no later than 30 September 2020.  Please note that this is a collaboration opportunity, not a job advertisement.  We are an international arts centre that offers free space to artists of all sorts, and have visitors from more than 100 countries in six continents.

Don’t Let it Pass you By

Arion Productions Ltd presents Passing By by Martin Sherman at the Tristan Bates Theatre

Passing By begins, deceptively, with a one-night stand.  A one-night stand that turns into eight weeks and becomes the substance of the play.  Thrown together by circumstances, the two main characters have intensive intimacy forced upon them, which leads to both comic moments and personal revelations.  It is almost like a bubble of unreality, in which normal life is suspended for a period of time.  Naturally, all such bubbles eventually burst.

Toby and Simon meet at the cinema, and then return to Toby’s apartment.  Simon has just arrived in New York from Miami Beach.  The following morning we hear that Toby is about to leave for Paris, so their relationship seems doomed to be a brief one.  Nevertheless, Simon turns up at Toby’s place of work (a wine shop) several days later, and a subsequent discovery of mutual illness, coupled with the fact that Simon has nowhere else to stay, causes them to nurse each other back to health over the next 8 weeks.

This is a well-written, carefully-structured, balanced play.  It has overtones of the type of New York humour found in Woody Allen or Neil Simon, and the contrast between James Cartwright’s portrayal of Olympic diver Simon, and Rik Makarem’s New York Jew Toby adds to the richness of the mix.  Simon is laid-back, confident, physically fit and has never had a day’s illness in his life (until now), whereas Toby is nervous, neurotic and seemingly hypochondriac at the start of the play.

Both actors filled their roles extremely well.  I couldn’t fault the accents, and James Cartwright’s initially relaxed Simon was a good foil to Rik Makarem’s anxious Toby.  However, it was as the play progressed and the roles reversed that the actors came into their own, and the interplay between them was excellent.  The juxtaposition of characters was what made the play, and, to me, was reminiscent of many wonderful similar stories: The Odd Couple; Prick Up Your Ears and even Ernie and Bert!

The resemblance to both the Joe Orton story and the Sesame Street roommates was enhanced by the set (presumably designed by Philip Lindley).  The majority of the play is set in Toby’s bedroom/kitchenette, which is a very good simulation of a 1970s room, with nylon bedspreads, padded headboards and an old-style black dial telephone.  The only false note was a television remote control of a type not in common use until the early 90s – a bit of an anachronism for 1972.  The three other short scenes – in the wine shop; at the cinema; on a bench – were very cleverly fitted into the main set.

The interesting thing about watching a play which was actually written in the early 70s, rather than one written today looking back at the period, is that there is no benefit of hindsight.  There is no dramatic irony, apart from that which the audience themselves experience, and the writer had no knowledge of the vast changes which were to take place in the lives of gay men in New York and elsewhere over the next couple of decades.  This gives a purity to the piece, almost as if we were looking through a window in time and space, that you just don’t get with retrospective writing.  For this, and for many other reasons, I would recommend you catch this play – as it is passing by.

Passing by is at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden until 30th November, nightly at 7.30, tickets £14 (£12 concessions).  For booking or more information visit or telephone 020 7240 6283.  Photos by Scott Rylander.

Mary Tynan