Here There is a cultural exchange between England and Korea, that I was lucky enough to be invited to be part of. And so, I kickstarted 2018 by spending a month in Seoul working on a new project with site-specific theatremaker Jinyeob Lee aka Elephant Laugh. You can read about our creative process here.
HERE THERE was produced by Farnham Maltings and financed by the Arts Councils of England and Korea to encourage an exchange of practice, ideas and skills between the two countries with the ambition of creating long term, collaborative relationships between artists and communities around the world.
In Good Hands
"Best of the festival by a clear and well trimmed head" ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ WhazOn Cork, June 2016
In Good Hands is an interactive show inspired by the world of hairdressers - of secrets, trust and our human need to share and connect. Taking place in a working hair salon a small audience are invited to their ‘appointment’ at this rural Irish salon where hairdresser Julie (Catherine Ireton) makes them feel very much at home while Lisa (Grace Kiely) is getting her hair done for a big night out. Over the next 60 minutes – the time it takes for a wash, cut and blowdry - the small dramas of the lives of Lisa and others of Ballybracken unfold around us. Through a series of original songs and involving the audience to help us tell the story In Good Hands explores the important things we tell complete strangers given the opportunity.
We were invited to perform In Good Hands at the Macau City Fringe and Shanghai ACT festival in 2017. Here are some pics from the shows.
Written and performed by Catherine Ireton & Grace Kiely. Musical direction and sound design by Ed Briggs. Directed by Gavin Stride.
Commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival and Farnham Maltings. Supported by Arts Council England.
What good is looking well when you're rotten on the inside?
I was delighted to work with Irish theatre maker, Emma O'Grady, as one the directors on her solo show for the Galway Theatre Festival 2017.
One month before his death, retired civil servant and man of few words Paddy O’Grady had a sudden urge to talk. Using a portable cassette tape recorder, he recorded 15 hours of stories about leprechauns, aliens and lonely pharmacists; absurdist political satire and musings on life, love and death.
In this new production Paddy’s granddaughter, Emma O’Grady, examines the fractured and fragile personas we present to the world, who we might be behind them, and who we could be instead.
Everything is done by ordinary people
Everything is done by ordinary people is a 15-minute audio journey inspired by the Museum of Classical Archaeology in Cambridge.
It was commissioned by The Campsite as part of Curating Cambridge: 'our city, our stories, our stuff'. and I was invited to create a piece of music to be enjoyed in two locations - at Christ's Pieces Park in Cambridge and within the museum itself. There are three tracks and diretions to go with each and even if you are nowhere near Cambridge you can download listen to them and enjoy anywhere you choose.
1. The gods of the city listen while sitting on a park bench or in a museum 2. Every contact leaves a trace listen while walking through a public park 3. Small finds listen when you find yourself tucked away in a moment that is small and beautiful and precious and ordinary
Where the light falls
Where the light falls was the result of a month long collaboration between myself and Korean playwright and actress Sohyun Bae. An exploratory promenade performance that took a small audience on an exploration through the heart of the former Seoul Railway Station on a journey of songs, soundscapes and stories. A celebration of acts of quiet heroism that exist every evening as dusk falls in waiting rooms, platforms and inside the luggage of passengers waiting to board their train home.
Winner of the Brighton Fringe Latest Music Award 2016, Leaving Home Party is a story set to song that explores our modern day notions of home and belonging. Taking inspiration from my own journey of leaving Ireland, I perform this 50 minute piece with multi-instrumentalist Ignacio Agrimbau. It premiered at Summerhall at the Edinburgh Festival 2014 and since then we have redeveloped it and performed it nationally and internationally in Seoul, South Korea.
Catherine had no idea she was emigrating. She stepped on a plane to Glasgow one Tuesday morning full of the joys of a new adventure. And now 7 jobs, 2 boyfriends and 3 flats later she’s still here. A foreigner in an almost familiar country. Joined by multi-instrumentalist Ignacio Agrimbau, Catherine tells a playful, wryly observed, tale about finding ones way in the world. A world in which the possible adventures over there are always more appealing than the reality of here. A world in which life - if you’re not careful – can just happen to you.
Leaving Home Party was developed with Gavin Stride and was originally co-directed with Caroline Byrne. Commissioned and produced by Farnham Maltings. Supported by Harlow Playhouse and Escalator East to Edinburgh and funded by Arts Council England.
Leaving Home Party by Catherine Ireton
What is it about that night?
What is it about that night? is a secret musical for small audiences in the backstage spaces of a working theatre. The idea behind this one-woman show was inspired by my own experience of working backstage and of the quiet dramas that the audience don’t get to see. I wanted to find a way to perform that puts music right at the heart of the piece responding to both the fantasy and reality of the building itself. So this musical takes place in the margins, at the edge of the stage, in the moments between events. I originally developed it in January 2013 at the Theatre Royal Brighton and have since performed it as part of Caravan International Showcase, the Theatre Royal Margate, The Hexagon in Reading as part of the Sitelines Festival, Harlow Playhouse, The Kings Theatre in Southsea and the Tai Po Civic Centre in Hong Kong. Here is a very nice review from The British Theatre Guide.
Written and performed by Catherine Ireton, produced by Farnham Maltings
What is it about that night?
//TreasureTracks// was four secret gigs held in Brighton over the summer of 2012. It was a response to me trying and failing to get gigs in the city - so I decided to take matters into my own hands and put on my own shows. Not in venues, oh no, that would be too easy. The audience found the gigs by following a treasure hunt to four special locations - The Booth Museum, inside the bowels of the Corn Exchange, your bedroom (how could you have missed that one?) and London Road Railway Station. Here's a link to the blog (where you can listen to the treasure) and click on the photo to the right for a wee video.
//TreasureTrack// no. 2 Invisibility Disguise at London Road Station
God Help the Girl
God Help the Girl is a story set to song written by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian. I sing the lead vocals on the album released in 2009 on Rough Trade and Matador records.
Go Away Birds
A collaboration with me and Michael John McCarthy back in 2008. We wrote a bunch of songs in his flat in Glasgow and recorded them every once and a while. You can buy the back catalogue on iTunes here.