THE DETERMINATOR by John Mc Manus
THE DETERMINATOR a truly creative collaboration
John Mc Manus and Aaron Monaghan are two Cavan artists that make a perfect creative match as witnessed by the audience at the reading of THE DETERMINATOR on Saturday 17 June. Written by Mc Manus and read by Monaghan the play was a natural partnership of creative ability.
Philip Doherty, playwright and creative at Townhall, Cavan introducing THE DETERMINATOR said of John Mc Manus “It’s an absolute honour to have John Mc Manus at Townhall, Cavan to present this new play. John can take our beautiful Cavan language which is earthy, lyrical and poetic and create theatrical heights, with glorious, wild and strange characters. He follows in the footsteps of the great Tom Mac Intyre.” Philip continued “Aaron Monahan is a superstar of Irish Theatre and is one of the most sought after actors in Ireland and the UK. Aaron was the original cripple in Martin McDonagh’s ‘Cripple of Inishmaan’, a world tour sell-out.
I am looking forward to his performance at the forthcoming Galway Arts Festival in Enda Walsh’s new opera ‘The Second Violinist’. Aaron is a brilliant actor and he began his career here at Townhall, it is great to welcome him and John Mc Manus back to Townhall, Cavan.”
Tom Sullivan, the chair of Cavan County Council Creative Team said that he was really pleased that the national Creative Ireland initiative was supporting the work that Cavan have championed bringing together artists of extradionary ability who can make work that engages and questions, highlighting the immense artistic ambition that is in the County.
He spoke with pride of the launch on the previous evening of the Creative Ireland Cavan programme at St Kilian’s Heritage Centre, Mullagh with an array of talent including the Castletown Accordion Orchestra and St Kilian’s NS award winning Leiriú group.
Tom congratulated Minister Heather Humphreys on her consolidated portfolio of Arts and Culture. On a day when The Styrpes were at Multisound signing their latest album Spitting Image for fans it brought into sharp focus the creative talent of Cavan artists. “Working together is really important, big government with local government, local government with artists and artists with artists”, Tom continued passionately.
Newly elected Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council Paddy Mc Donald assured John Mc Manus and Aaron Monaghan and the audience present for the reading that he and the elected representatives were acutely aware of the value of the arts and the need to ensure that artists can live and work in County Cavan.
Speaking after the event Catriona O Reilly, arts officer said “It was a great pleasure to experience the craft of Aaron Monaghan weaving the magic in the words of John Mc Manus. Enchanting”.
This is the plot of THE DETERMINATOR a new play by John Mc Manus that received a rehearsed reading by Aaron Monaghan, actor at Townhall, Cavan on Saturday 17 June at 8.30pm.
Exciting plans of tour to follow. WATCH THIS SPACE.
The Anglo Celt is akin to the local bible for many Cavan people; the place to read about births, deaths, what your neighbour is up to and how they get on when they go to court!
Forthcoming marriages are also covered and this is the unfortunate condition of a young man from Dowra who only realises that he is still in love with his ex-girlfriend when he reads in last week’s Anglo Celt that she is to be married tomorrow. Armed with his clothes, his boots, his bicycle and a full packet of fags, he sets out on an epic quest to Cavan Town, in a determined effort to win her back on the eve of her wedding.
Ballyconnell born Mc Manus has a distinctive Cavan voice and his work captures the essence of this place, its character and peculiarities. His characters are complex, engaging and quirky. Mc Manus gave up plastering in 2005 and started writing plays for the most obvious reason. “My mother made me” was the response Mc Manus gave to Orla O Sullivan, Irish Echo when asked why he took up writing. His play The Quare Land won the Origins Irish Festival in New York in 2015 and 10 years earlier Mc Manus began his playwriting career winning the RTE PJ O Connor radio play award. In the interim he has completed the New Playwright’s Programme at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and has had new play readings at theatres including The Druid, Galway, The Abbey, Dublin and venues in Canada and America. He has forged a successful partnership with Seamus O Rourke’s Big Gorilla productions touring nationally with The Quare Land, Danger Money and most recently The Cavan Curse.
Mc Manus is delighted to be working on this play as part of the Creative Ireland initiative 2017 in County Cavan and he is particularly pleased to be working with Aaron Monaghan. “I am excited to be working with Aaron Monaghan. This Cavan actor is a master of his craft. “ Speaking from the arts office, Catriona O Reilly said “John Mc Manus captures the human condition. The work is hilarious, poignant and distinctively Cavan. The culture team is really pleased to be working with John Mc Manus this year as part of this new cultural direction” .
Aaron Monaghan is a Cavan actor most associated with the Druid Theatre and his recent success in The Beauty Queen of Leenane had an extended American tour earlier this year. The actor who established Livin Dred Theatre Company with Padraic Mc Intyre and Mary Hanley brings physicality to character interpretation that makes his performances hypnotic. Of himself Aaron Monaghan says “I’m an accidental actor. I got involved with youth drama in my teens. It became my weekly opportunity to express myself and to play. It was only ever a hobby as I always loved drawing and planned to become an architect.”
This rehearsed reading is commissioned by Cavan County Council as part of the Creative Ireland Initiative and supported by the Arts Council.