The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

The Abbey Theatre in Dublin has said “We want to hear from communities who feel marginalised and silenced – we want to hear your stories!” – so this would be a rare chance for survivors, friends and families to work together on a project that could have a big impact. The 5 chosen groups get a week of professional help on their project paid for by the Abbey and 5,000 euros to help develop it for the stage – but they don’t need to finish everything in that week, it’s more to help pull the ideas together. The application only needs short answers to three questions, just 500 words in total – but you can send more material like photos, links or written material with the application.


The deadline is December the 15th, so Rob Northall and Jack Colleton encouraged me to post this for all members to urgently consider… I’d like to suggest that people here could put together their ideas for the application starting on this post.

If anyone would like any help or advice on applying, I’d be very willing to help (I used to work in Community Theatre in Dublin, in Ballymun and Tallaght). I wanted to make a few suggestions that could help with the application… If this was put together as a Community Theatre project based on the stories and oral testimonies of survivors, it would be a very powerful and important piece of theatre for stage or radio. Having the voices of survivors as the core of it would bring all the issues to life and finally let their voices be heard.


I suggest that the stories of survivors could be recorded and gathered to be used as the basis for a play – these testimonies could be recorded on a high-quality digital recorder. This would also create a historical archive so that survivors’ experiences could be remembered and preserved.

There would be six months or more before the week’s work in the Abbey, so that would give time to involve as many survivors and others impacted as possible. It would just need one survivor or family member to act as a co-ordinator who would keep an eye on things and OK the final application and send it in. As many survivors as want to get involved could add their ideas in and add their names into the material with the application. They could also add their own stories, testimonies, photos and so on.

Those survivors who have written about their experiences would be included too –so that six months would give time to gather written stories from as many people as possible. As well as their own stories, survivors could tell the stories of those who didn’t survive, or those deceased who never got the chance to tell their story. Some of these could maybe later be voiced by actors on stage, while any available photos and videos could be used as background material – projected onstage or on screens – with the true stories behind the photos being told… Their partners or family members could also have their testimonies recorded to give another perspective.


What would give extra weight to the application would be to emphasise that this isn’t really about something that happened in the past – for the survivors and their loved ones, it’s obviously happening right now. The effects of the abuse still go on, and the Church denials and official penny-pinching and neglect still continues (to put it very mildly!).

As they are looking for a “new idea”, maybe that could be it – to show in a powerful way how it is really still happening, and how abuse and its effects continues in different forms.
So if the survivors were able to tell the story of how their whole lives have been affected right up to today, it would give the “relevance” that these applications tend to want. It would also give a fuller picture of what the effects of sexual abuse, neglect, starvation and official denial can do to a person even many decades later.

The second stage after the gathering would be to bring in a writer or director or “dramaturg” (a fancy name for a person who edits and shapes stories for the stage). They would then have the job of shaping the stories into a play and putting them on paper into a script – the applicant and survivors group would then have to give feedback and suggestions.

That is one way of doing it anyway…. Please post any other ideas or suggestions you may have – the important thing is that an application goes in, whoever does it or whatever shape it takes. Many thanks for reading this!
Wishing you success in the application, Mark Lynch

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Hello, William - thanks for your help!

As time is short, I'll put my email here if people want to contact me or send anything...

marklynk@hotmail.com

Yes Jack has it in a nutshell it is not something that happened in the past how can it be we are living the consequences to this day

Yes Today  ... Now And Being Forced To Fight For Basic Human Rights!

Good luck mark

Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement! The deadline is 5 pm today. Unfortunately Facebook took down the supporters page and locked me out of Facebook because I tried to boost a post - there was an "issue" but they won't tell me what it is. 

Anyway, we will give it a try today... Let's hope!

All the best,

Mark

Hello Mark. FB Seems Very Down On What It Perceives To Be "Activism". People Posting On FB About Missing Animals Had Their Posting "Rights"  Affected Because FB Chose To View Their Posts As "Spam".  They Are Faceless And Nameless And Not Human. They Never Play Fair. They Never Say What The "Issue" Is. Fb Was Set Up For Less Than Wholesome Reasons And Fb Hates Posts That Do Not Fit It's Anti Democracy Agenda.

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