Questions with no easy answers in Carr’s play

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Andrew Flynn of Galway’s Decadent Theatre who is directing Marina Carr’s The Map of Argentina for next month’s Galway International Arts Festival, found an unexpected challenge when it came to one aspect of the production.

It wasn’t the play and it wasn’t the casting process for the six adults and five children who will be performing in the show.

“The biggest challenge we’ve have is accommodation,” says Andrew. “It’s to try and house six people in Galway.

He began looking for accommodation for the adult actors, all of whom live in Dublin, last September.

Finding places to rent in the city was challenging and expensive – with more of the play’s production budget being spent on accommodation than on wages. And that’s only to cover a few weeks, because it’s proven more cost-effective for Andrew to relocate to Dublin from Mondays to Thursdays for rehearsals.

He directs the adult actors there, then returns to Galway on Thursday evenings, working with the younger cast members and the central adults on Fridays and Saturdays. They’ll all be in Galway as rehearsals progress towards play’s opening night, which is on July 17 at An Taibhdhearc Theatre. And while those arrangements weren’t Andrew’s first choice, they make most sense.

The Map of Argentina will receive its world premiere in Galway, although it isn’t a new play, explains Andrew, who previously directed Marina Carr’s The Mai for Decadent in 2018 when it enjoyed a successful tour that included Galway.

The Map of Argentina, meanwhile, was originally commissioned by the Abbey Theatre and it appeared in a collection of Carr’s plays, published by Faber in 2015, However the Abbey opted not to produce it, so its Galway run will be the first time audiences get to see it onstage.

Pictured: Art Brophy, Mark Huberman, Andrew Flynn, Alannah O’Grady, Fionnuala Barrett, Maeve Fitzgerald and Elise Broderick, in rehearsals for Marina Carr’s The Map Of Argentina, which is directed by Andrew. PHOTO: BRIAN HARDING.

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