Ken McGuire has produced and appeared in everything we’ve done. He does so much that we figured asking him a load of questions about this play would be no bother to him. Gwan the Ken.
Describe your part / role in Accidental Death Of An Anarchist?
Where do I begin? I’ve been shouting and roaring at people for the
last ten weeks, pretending to be some kind of angry policeman while
whipping the other actors into shape. Or is that you? Like other
productions I’m double-sided on ADOAA, wearing my producers hat up
until 6pm each evening which means organising everything that happens
behind the scenes on the production for the past few months, then
donning a gruff Irish accent to play the Superindendent, the senior of
the police players in our wee farce. The Super is a bit of a bastard,
no surprises there. He’s a great combination of roles I’ve been able
to play over the last few years – part nice guy, part sleaze, two
parts bastard, all rolled into one. He’s proud, he’s aggressive, he’s
weary of his situation but knows well that he’s screwed. Sure he’ll
try and shift the blame to anyone but himself, but where that takes
him you’ll have to see for yourself…
What’s been your favourite part of this production so far?
Favourite part? The endless eight-hour rehearsals that leave me a
broken shell of my former self.
What’s the hardest thing about rehearsals?
Hardest part? The endless eight-hour rehearsals that leave me a broken
shell of my former self. My it’s fun.
Is there a certain part of rehearsals that you like the most?
Judging by rehearsals and trying to get over the fact that we’ve been
“corpsing like bastards” of late, it looks like every part is my
favourite part. In fairness, that’s not a bad response. The overall
experience of the show and rehearsals thus far has been fantastic. The
challenges are there in droves and the action at parts is frantic but
if it’s keeping us smiling then it’s all good.
Set Theatre job, hey?
If we were (in terms of local companies) a Watergate-only theatre
company then I’d say straight away “Hell yeah, what the hell is
this!”. But we’ve lined up 13 actors in the keg store in Cleere’s,
we’ve had about the same hanging out in tiny darkened corners in The
Barn, and we’ve stepped out on stages in both, makeshift stages in
Rothe House and of course in the Watergate. If anything it will be
interesting to be in a new space. Having covered events there for the
Arts Festival this past summer and with my professional work I’ve
become quite familiar rather quickly with the setup there so I reckon
it’ll be fun moreso than weird. Five venues inside four years isn’t
too bad going!
This play cuts a lot of throats? How do you think the audience will take it?
I’m expecting political revolt. There’ll be uproar at the next council
meeting, the press will have a field day with this and medical card
campaigners will be patting us on the back. I’ve no idea in the
slightest how the audience will take it. Here’s hoping they see the
genuinely comic side of the production and go home having had their
sides split with laughter
Describe the play in 5 words.
Political satire at its finest.
How relevant is the play to Ireland at the moment?
Very. Seriously. Sure enough, we’re based in Italy, we’re playing
Italian characters, but when the gloves come off and the madman (in
the guise of a mirror being held up to present day society) lets rip,
people are going to see that it’s very, very relevant to the current
state of play in Ireland, whether this year, last year or over the
last decade or so.
Most looking forward to?
That pint on Wednesday night. I’ve steered clear of alcohol for pretty
much the run of rehearals so I’ll be looking for a victory sip on the
opening night. If I could go for said pint in full costume and makeup
I’d be happier still.
Ask me at about 7:29pm on Wednesday. It’s always something I’ve tried
to put to one side. If you let nerves get the better of you, you’re
done for. If we’re looking nervous on stage, it’s only because we’re
using our acting to make you think that we are.
Finally, who would you most like to take into a police cell and beat
the shit out of?
William Shakespeare. What a prick. It’s his own fault.
Accidental Death Of An Anarchist opens on Wednesday December 2nd and runs until Sunday December 6th in the Set Theatre, John Street, Kilkenny. Tickets can be bought at the Set Theatre, Box Office, Rollercoaster Records and on www.devioustheatre.com