“A tale which is as true as it is untrue; simultaneously fact and fiction. Chaotic yet controlled. Childish yet adult. Half dark and half light…”
So runs the descriptive blurb for Half Light, a theatre piece which runs at First Fortnight for four nights (and one matinee) from January 10-14 at Dublin’s Smock Alley – the piece follows a 10-year-old boy, Robin, who enters the fantastical world of his missing father’s storybook in search of him. The play won the First Fortnight prize at the Fringe 2016, and we caught up with director Mollie Molumby, a theatre-maker from Dublin.
Q. What is your background in the arts?
M. I’m currently training in drama facilitation at NAYD’s Artstrain and recently graduated from Trinity College Drama Studies. I am artistic director of newly set up Bombinate Theatre – we are big fans of First Fortnight and are very excited to be present Half Light as part of next year’s festival.
Q. I understand Half Light is a collaborative piece. How did it develop?
Half Light is incredibly collaborative! The piece was devised with the actors as well as many members of the production team. We developed the script through a combination of improvisation, writing exercises and a whole lot of discussion.
From the beginning of the process, we knew we wanted to make a show which would promote mental health awareness. We hoped that it would be uplifting and this is something we have carried with us every step of the way. We worked with themes surrounding depression and mental illness in families, drawing inspiration from real life testimonies and mental health websites. At the same time as this, we were looking at fantasy literature, adventure films and animation, looking for ways in which these themes could be expressed through a magical parallel world.
The play blends storytelling, comedy and original live music to tell Robin’s story. All of the music has been written by the cast themselves too! Fionn Foley who has written three of the four major songs with Richard Durning composing all background music and collaborating with Juliette Crosbie and Camille Oswald on the fourth and final song. The music has got a folky feel to it and all music is performed by the actors live.
Q. Is Half Light suitable for all ages? Who is your primary audience?
Half Light is a play for children aged eight plus and adults of all ages. There’s something in it for anyone and everyone!
Q. Do you intend to collaborate with the same team on future projects? Is there anything planned yet for after the next Half Light shows in January?
The production team behind Half Light recently set up our own theatre company Bombinate, making theatre for families and young audiences. As well as Half Light, we are developing a new show for families at the moment as part of a Dublin-based theatre festival in February. However, we cannot say too much about that just yet. You can check out our website at www.bombinatetheatre.com, follow us on Twitter @bombinateplays or like us on Facebook. Announcements to come in the New Year!
Video by Neil O’Driscoll
Half Light runs in Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, from Jan 10-14, book tickets here.