Today, SoFFT Productions with the support of Meath Arts announce In The Middle of The Fields, an evening of music, poetry, and performance, created in response to the writing of Mary Lavin. The event will take place on Saturday, 8th October in Dunderry Park, Co. Meath. Tickets are €22.50 and are available from Tickets.ie.
Playwright Deirdre Kinahan has curated this event with musicians, actors, and spoken word artists. Speaking about the event Deirdre Kinahan says: “Each artist is invited to read Mary Lavin’s’ evocative short story collection ‘In The Middle of The Fields’ and see what strikes them, what inspires them. Mary Lavin once described the short story as “akin to ‘Lightning’s Flash’ because it has the ability to light up an entire landscape in one moment. She was both a brilliantly gifted and quietly subversive storyteller with an unflinching insight into the human soul. Her stories lifted the latch on the screaming passions, conflicting impulses and social barricades that beleaguered Irish life. There is an electricity to her writing, my hope is that we can tap into some of that extraordinary energy with you ‘In the middle of……the room’. No story is complete without its audience.”
They will all come together to sing, play, speak, read or perform their responses on the evening of October 8th at Dunderry Park Co. Meath in front of a live audience.
Deirdre Kinahan’s best-known Plays include The Unmanageable Sisters, Rathmines Road, Moment, Halcyon Days, Bogboy, Hue & Cry, Melody, Spinning, and her Irish Revolutionary History Trilogy Wild Sky, Embargo, and Outrage.
Mary Josephine Lavin (1912 – 1996) was a major Irish short story writer and novelist whose work stands in comparison with Chekhov. She is regarded as a pioneering female author in the traditionally male-dominated world of Irish letters. Lavin’s work contains sharp insights into the quiet tragedies and joys of human life and she is considered one of the great artists of the short story in the English language.
’I myself at times have had such a feeling of life’s rushing past, that I wanted in my stories to arrest that onrush and examine an instant or a character in the same way that a scientist examines a specimen under a microscope: – when you see the many small inner patterns below the large pattern of a whole life.’’ Mary Lavin.
Performing at this special event will be artist and musician Steve Wickham, known as a member of one of Irish most loved bands ‘The Waterboys’. Steve has recorded with scores of artists including Elvis Costello, U2 and Sinead O Connor. He is a multi-instrumentalist and has composed extensively for film and theatre and plays regularly with his own band in Sligo, NoCrows.
Joining Steve Wickham will be Singer-songwriter Saramai Leech. A member of the art-pop band Pearly (Perlee) her work also spans performance, sound design and composition, music in healthcare, and collaborative work in the areas of theatre and poetry. She has enjoyed radio play across National Irish and French Radio as well as performing at festivals such as Electric Picnic and Other Voices to name a few.
Having established his music career when he relocated to New York City a decade ago, Michael Brunnock was delighted to have Talking Heads David Byrne cast him to sing the role of an Irish musician whose voice guides Sean Penn through an emotional journey in This Must Be the Place (2012). Michael went on to win an Italian Oscar (Di Donatello) for ‘If it Falls” in the best original song category and recently won the Jury Award at the Bologna Film Festival for his music in the film ‘In the Name of Gerry Conlon’
Wayne Sheehy is an intensely active musician, writer and producer as well as the creator and producer of the TV show “The Last Pub in Ireland”. He has worked with U2 frontman Bono, Van Morrison, Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones and Faces, the Animals’ Eric Burdon, Bo Diddley, Bobby Womack, Paul Brady, Paul Young, the Chieftains, Hot House Flowers, and many more. A Producer/composer and multi-instrumentalist, he owns Ocean Studios located on the shores of Bantry Bay in West Cork.
Gerardette Bailey is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has toured and recorded extensively both at home and abroad. Her voice and music have been used in the film, dance, installation, and animation works, winning many accolades and awards. She is currently working on a collaborative project with an album due for release in 2023.
Actress Catherine Byrne will bring Lavin’s voice into the room performing from the stories that inspired the artist’s new works. Catherine trained at The Abbey School of Acting and is an accomplished actress known for The Tudors, Taffin, Nightflyers, Dancing at Lughnasa, and as Dr. Judith Dillon in Fair City.
Sasha Terfous is the current poet Laureate for Wexford and one of the most important figures in Ireland’s spoken word community. With her knowledge, eloquence, and passion, she aims to narrate life’s experiences and encourage her audience to reflect upon themselves and their decisions. Using her work as a form of activism, her poetry draws attention to the voices that should be heard and issues that need to be addressed.