The challenge of poetry (for me) is to capture thoughts, ideas, and concepts, and then crystallize that in cogent rhymes. Apart from writing fictional stories, I like to compose performance poems based on philosophical issues like the duality of man and the darkness that resides inside. These poems frequently feature religious content and draw on the power of art, nature and Catholicism to navigate their way out of the labyrinth. Some of my favourites include the dramatic 'Angel of Art' , the twisted prayer 'Two of me, One of someone else,' and 'Maybe You'll Be', a rumination on reincarnation.
I was honoured to be invited to write a poem for the Corrymeela community. The fantasy poem 'The Rain of a Thousand Dreams' will be published in their 20/20 visions report. Poetry Ireland accepted my love ballard 'He Rides the Sky', taken from the Legend of Etain series, and published that along with my art in the first issue of their poetry magazine Tales from the Forest.
For me, performance poetry is about entertainment. It's a great medium to entertain and engage with the audience, which is what acting is all about.
Although I'm new to this enterprise, I've written a good few horror plays and am over the moon to say that they will be on stage for Halloween 2016. 'The Hounds of Love' was originally a performance poem, but it has been modified and adapted for the theatre. It is a violent tale of shattered dreams and unrequited love. 'Beware the Beast' is the story of a messy love triangle between a drug dealer, a drug addict, and a deformed hunchback living in the basement. 'Wrath of the Rats' is a Hammer Horror style story about a rich retired banker and his hot young wife who move into a haunted house. These plays will be on stage at the Cabaret Supper Club, and I can't wait for Halloween 2016!
I'm running with the Belfast Theatre company Bigger Than Us Productions. There's a lot of new projects on the go and a team of talented actors to shake the stage. All good things!
Demon in the Woods
Demon in the Woods is an outdoor horror production that was staged in the Enchanted Glade area for the Sunflowerfest festival of 2016. There was plenty of music and poetry over the festival weekend and I'm thrilled to say my horror play went down very well at the event. The play follows a group of unfortunate people who stumble upon an ancient Irish burial ground deep in the dark heart of the woods. They foolishly awaken a demon from the otherworld. Can they put the beast back where it belongs before it destroys them all, or will their rivalries and differences tear them apart?
Photography by Debbie Daboo.
The Seduction of Etain is an ongoing project that combines poetry, art, music and drama. I've been illustrating the epic Irish love story for years and I still enjoy working with the characters. Future performances will feature a variety of performance poets reading poems dedicated to the myth while traditional Irish music is played alongside them. The Etain exhibition at the John Hewitt bar was a huge success and I hope to deliver more productions in the same style. This is an ongoing project for me - a romantic and mythic escape from the world of horror that I love to inhabit.
Photography from launch night at the Hewitt is by Paul McMahon