MacWac Theatre Company


It's Not Just Rain & Potatoes - The blog for the comedy show about Irish culture.

Nail-bitingly traditional Irish fields
In 2007 we worked on a comedy show all about Irish Culture.  We asked supporters to tell us about the Irish, being Irish, visiting Ireland or Ireland in the world - and send us funny ideas, mad photos and reckless opinions.  What follows is the blog of that process.

Go on! Share now! Ye will ye will ye will!


Three More Shows to Go and Still Taking Input

1639156-908645-thumbnail.jpgWe've just finished our first week with It's Not All Rain & Potatoes out in front of a live audience: two previews, a press night on Wednesday, running through to two shows on Saturday.  After a slightly anxious start - one day to tech and get in a new show - we were up and running.  By Tuesday the material had found its feet.  By Thursday it had good reviews.  Not that this stopped us - as promised - we cut and rewrote before each of the performances, based on feedback from audiences and our own sense what works and what doesn't.  Very satisfying, if challenging!  We're getting everything we can out of this first outing, honing the show based on audience reaction.  Ahead lie three more performances, in Antrim, Strabane and Portwstewart, and a chance to see what they audiences make of the show outside Belfast.

Irish Superheroes - Guilt Girl and It's No Wonder Woman

Today we went back to act 2 - the version we're finally pretty much happy with - actually let me start again...

1296468-1094425-thumbnail.jpgToday we STARTED work on act 2 - after finishing the last of the major rewrites this morning at 7:05 am.  We have tomorrow, Saturday, and then 5 more days till we start teching.  Ahhh the mad mad delight of the theatre. And I'm wanting to make sure that we don't peak too soon!  Perhaps that's slightly premature.  Today's discoveries?  The dialogue for Irish super heroes "Guilt Girl" and "It's No Wonder Woman", how many times Jean and Sharon should order a new bottle of Chardonnay in their discussion of being a modern woman trying to date an Irish Saint, and the exact position an Irishman should assume when approaching Angelina Jolie, even if it's only in his imagination.  These are the pressing concerns of the hour! Get through to the end of Act 2 by tomorrow, and off book by Monday.


Singing & Rewriting

Today Faolan and Stephen were up in Coleraine with us, crammed into the "studio" that is the spare room, working on the songs.  We worked on getting the tune down, huddled around the accoustic guitar, then moved out into the living room to stretch our legs and hear what things sounded like when we could actually stand up-right, especially Faolan who had to unfold himself like a complicated piece of origami.  A stop for some gossip and lunch and then back upstairs for more songs and a chance to listen to a clip of James Joyce reading Finegan's Wake for Stephen, who has to play Joyce as an 8 year old in our version of the Nativity, written by Joyce, Heaney and Doyle, with special guest Oscar Wilde appearing as the donkey....

Donkey: "I have nothing to declare but my genius"

Mary: "smart ass"

We have done more work on the Gaelculator, based on the suggestion that arrived via this blog, and trimmed the Ireland-as-Hollywood-sees-it sketch, but I now have to go through the script and try to make sure it is balanced in its references to Catholic and Protestant perspectives - I think we'll be fine as long as we make fun of each, equally.  I'm a bit troubled by the fact that simply talking about "Irishness" can be construed as "Republican" - I have to trawl through the script and see if we can insert balancing references to "the Island of Ireland", Northern Ireland, etc etc.  I wish there was a neutral term, especially as I don't want this to be a piece about "that" issue, but rather a cultural examination of the "characteristics of people who live here".  Interesting....



Final Storyboard for Act 2

Click for a closer look
After another intensive day locked in Nuala's spare room eatin' tea and drinkin' biscuits the final storyboard for Act 2, with all the bits fitting together has emerged.  We, on the other hand, appear to still be stuck there 24 hours later, and this blog is currently being written by a figment of my imagination.


Trigonometric Irish

Act 2 Storyboarding Starts
Today we spent all day working on the story board for act 2, and revisiting the flow of act 1.  Toby's comment about how if you're English sometimes Ireland feels like very complex calculator full of mysterious symbols, stayed with us, and we've ended up writing a scene inspired by him.


Writers Hard At Work on Irishness

Sometimes it's just all too much...1296468-1090321-thumbnail.jpg


Storyboarding the Production

As we move through various sections of the show, nailing down how we want things to flow, which bits need to be improvised, where the scenes we've already got fit in, and who might possibly be in love with who, we're storyboarding.  Here's a sneak preview of what the first act was looking like a few days ago:

Click on the image for a closer look!