December 2016

Pan Pan made their debut at the Abbey Theatre with their internationally acclaimed production of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall.

This was a unique chance for audiences to physically take their seat on the Abbey stage for an unforgettable theatrical experience. Seated in wooden rocking chairs and surrounded by Aedín Cosgrove’s innovative lighting and production design, the audience listened to this multi-layered composition of voices that can be experienced as a black comedy, a murder mystery, a cryptic literary riddle or a quasi-musical score.

“After touring All That Fall around the world we are excited to be bringing the production back to Dublin, placing the audience at the centre of the action on our national theatre’s main stage.” Gavin Quinn

Winner of Best Lighting and Sound Design, Irish Times Theatre Awards 2011 & Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival 2013.

Photo by Ros Kavanagh

Pan Pan were delighted to bring The Seagull and Other Birds to Abrons Arts Centre, New York, and San Francisco International Arts Festival as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme I Am Ireland, supported by Culture Ireland. And then to the wonderful Gothenburg Dance and Theatre Festival in August.

“This show also conveys the unquenchable energy that courses through the very attempt to make art, a vigor that bubbles to the surface at unexpected moments and in exhilarating ways. The manners with which the cast co-opts audience members into the proceedings should be embarrassing but instead feels jubilantly collegial.” Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“You’ll find that what Pan Pan has done is to dig deeply into Chekov’s play, retaining its broad outline and filtering it through an Irish sensibility reminiscent of James Joyce or Samuel Beckett at their most enigmatic.” Howard Miller, Talkin Broadway

“Whatever you may wind up thinking of the creators… you will definitely want to eat your next meal with them.’ Helen Shaw,

“Every person in the cast is full of intense energy and director and co-founder Gavin Quinn channels that energy into a piece that bounces into every corner of the space to create a larger than life performance.” Victoria Teague, New York Theatre Review

Supported by Culture Ireland as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme

Photo by Robert Altman

Following the sell-out success of All That Fall at the Abbey Theatre in February and international acclaim for Embers, Pan Pan Theatre brought a third radio work by Samuel Beckett to production in April.

Featuring the voices of Andrew Bennett and Daniel Reardon, Cascando comes to life in an installation event, a rare opportunity to experience the play in a specially constructed environment, designed by Pan Pan co- artistic director Aedín Cosgrove with sound design by long-term collaborator Jimmy Eadie with support from the Trinity Creative Fund.

“The effect: an uplifting sense of freedom, as well as a sense of foreboding. Lifted from the familiarity of ‘normal vision and sound,’ one’s imagination and reason collide until there is a fusion between both.”  Examiner

“Aedín Cosgrove’s lighting choices are spare and subtle but very effective, breathing eerie life into her set and often mingling with Jimmy Eadie’s intimate sound design at just the right time, creating moments of surreal, organic beauty and an atmosphere that feels otherworldly.” No More Workhorse

“Aedín Cosgrove’s labyrinthine construction, curling around corridors of reflective black surfaces, give us ghostly reflections, where her pockets of light reveal shapes briefly, then wane into utter darkness. Look ahead or behind you and you’ll see an indistinguishable column of hooded figures, and the journey to the centre of the set feels more and more penitential. Not for the first time in Beckett, the words seem like a mordant joke on the audience: “we’re there . . . nearly . . . just a few more… It does achieve a near perfect equivalent with it [the play]. It’s how Beckett, the master manipulator of form, would have subverted immersive theatre.” The Irish Times

Photo by Ros Kavanagh

As part of the IRELAND 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts & Culture Pan Pan were honored to bring All That Fall to The Kennedy Center in Washington DC in May 2016.

Over the course of three weeks in the spring of 2016, The Kennedy Center presented IRELAND 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts & Culture, a major festival highlighting Irish culture and its relationship to America. Curated by Alicia Adams, Vice President of International Programming and Dance, the festival includes dozens of performances from some of Ireland’s best contemporary musicians, dancers, theatre companies, and more.

All That Fall had its Asian premiere at the George Town Festival in Malaysia in August where the show was warmly received by audience and press.

And finally in November All That Fall got its Broadway premiere when it opened at The Duke on 42nd Street, right in the heart of the New York theatre district, as part of Lincoln Centre’s White Light Festival.

Supported by Culture Ireland.

Photo by Ros Kavanagh

Pan Pan brought our production of Dick Walsh’s Newcastlewest to the Korjaamo Festival Helsinki, Finland in August 2016.

Looking at indeterminacy, randomness and the role of fate, Newcastlewest is a comedy by Dick Walsh, directed by Gavin Quinn. Marya is a woman really struggling with today. She lives in a house with her father. He is getting old. She is getting old. He’s a pain in the hole. Her thighbone is decaying. She’s got no job, or even the prospect of a job. Then a local man done good comes to tell them about his position in Brussels.

Featuring the stellar cast of Des Nealon, Una McKevitt, Annabell Rickerby and Dick Walsh with sound design by Vincent Doherty.

Newcastlewest premiered at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2015, and was shortlisted for the Stewart Parker Trust Awards.

Supported by Culture Ireland.

Photo by Ros Kavanagh

Pan Pan were delighted to continue our relationship with Associate Director Dick Walsh following on from last year’s Newcastlewest at the Dublin Theatre Festival.

Written and directed by Dick Walsh, George Bush and Children is an experiment that looks at how people talk on chat shows using theatre. Featuring four actors, Oddie Braddell, Grainne Hallahan, Fionnuala Flaherty, and Shane Connolly, the piece transposes the drama of the television chat show to the stage. The piece uses exact transcriptions of what was live, unscripted dialogue and discussion from TV and radio shows and sets them to a movement and sound score. The piece aims to highlight the comedy, tragedy and theatrical elements of the familiar and mundane.

Photo by Jaesin Yu

As part of Project 50, Project Arts Centre and Pan Pan presented One Time Season: a season of contemporary theatre featuring works by Pan Pan and American/Belgian group Random Scream.

The Importance of Nothing: A theatrical project from Pan Pan exploring the work and legacy of Oscar Wilde.

About Random Scream
Davis Freeman is an American performing artist based in Brussels and has worked with Forced Entertainment, Meg Stuart and Superamas. With his company Random Scream he continues to explore the multiple sides of his artistic personality. From docu-performances and durational music, theatre and dance pieces to lounge acts and installations.

He created the company Random Scream in 1999 to expose the eclectic elements of everyday culture with proposed lines of flight for dance, theatre, and visual arts. Originally created with the artist Lilia Mestre, Random Scream is now run by Davis Freeman and his ever evolving mix of collaborators. The projects aim to draw attention to what is already there by focusing on our personal interactions and how our choices directly affect each other and the community we live in.

Photo by Silvano Magnone

A comedy about a drama therapy class in an imaginary prison.

Picture an imaginary prison where the drama therapy is twenty fours a day. Drama therapist Lady Lancing and her husband Omar have dedicated their lives to conducting anti-homophobic workshops utilizing the life and works of Oscar Wilde.

The prisoner’s patience and imaginations are teased to refashion or to completely overhaul Wilde’s material and the threads that are interwoven through his works and the social conventions of the past century.

“Pain unlike pleasure wears no mask” Oscar Wilde

Cast: Andrew Bennett, Una McKevitt, Mark O’Halloran, Judith Roddy and Dylan Tighe.

Check out this video from the production.

“The latest in director Gavin Quinn’s absorbing riffs on classic writers focuses on Oscar Wilde, where the man who declared all art to be “quite useless” is now put to a very specific use. Here Wilde becomes the subject of an anti-homophobic workshop in an imaginary prison, where prisoners explore and repurpose his life and work to suit their own expression.” The Irish Times

“Pan Pan, who have already radically adapted Shakespeare, Ibsen and Chekhov, admirably offer something new on Wilde’s legacy. This cunning production weaves the writer’s biography and work through a playful conceit: a drama therapy class for prison inmates.” Exeunt Magazine

“So brilliant is the humour you could almost miss the subtle yet powerful interrogations taking place. Like Wilde’s work, there are secrets hidden beneath the laughter and a burning intelligence at play.” The Arts Review

Photo by Ros Kavanagh

Thanks to a grant from the Arts Council’s Theatre Artist Development Scheme, Pan Pan engaged Stewart Laing, director and designer for theatre and opera, and Artistic Director of Untitled Projects. He worked as a mentor with theatre and performance makers based in Ireland to develop early-stage projects. This year we worked with an amazing group of mentees: Tom Creed, Clodagh Deegan, Conor Hanratty, Meadhbh Haicéid and Ruairí O’Donovan.

The main focus of the International Mentorship and Bursary programme is for theatre and performance makers to buy time to work on an idea in its early development stages, outside of the pressures of production. In addition to having four meetings with Stewart in Dublin, each of the five selected participants received a bursary of €2,000 to help them set aside dedicated time to work on their ideas. We were also able to offer some travel subsidy to help them see relevant work internationally. The engagement of the mentor is aimed to pose challenges and interrogations to the ideas in development within a supportive structure.

Photo by Peter Holliday

Pan Pan appointed two new Associate Artists in 2016, Dick Walsh and Zia Holly. Dick has worked on a number of Pan Pan’s recent productions and we are happy to extend & develop this valuable relationship further. They are both young independent artists who will benefit from the experience, network and resources of the company while in turn contributing to the future of Pan Pan’s creative programme. We’d like to thank our previous Associate Director, Maeve Stone, and Associate Designer, Grace O’Hara, for all of their hard work and dedication to the company.

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Pan Pan is supported by
The Arts Council
Culture Ireland
Dublin City Council