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Blog 4 – Marc Mac Lochlainn, Executive Artistic Director of Branar Téatar do Pháistí

Marc Mac Lochlainn

Marc Mac Lochlainn is the executive artistic director of Branar Téatar do Pháistí. Marc founded the company in 2001. Along with Branar’s ensemble of actors he has created and directed all of Branar’s 21 original shows. He founded and runs Branar’s “AG ROINNT” theatre resource sharing scheme and the TINY SHOWS weekends. Branar is one of Ireland’s leading theatre companies making work for children. Based in the West of Ireland, Branar are renowned for creating highly imaginative and beautiful work.

To the Stage

This month in Branar we are focusing on preparing for the live presentation of YOU’LL SEE…

In previous blogs, we have spoken about creating the film based on our adaptation of Ulysses for children and now, the next phase is for us to create a live theatre version.

We are back in the rehearsal room and must make some adjustments to the piece with the knowledge that we will have a live audience in front of us. In the film version, we were able to use the camera to dictate exactly what the audience would see through framing. However, with the live version, we have to consider the pacing, the clarity of the delivery and the visuals of the piece from the audience’s point of view. We also need to add elements such as lighting and sound cues, and everything that makes theatre different from other forms of presentation. This is challenging to do, but this is the art form we are most experienced in.

We have new members of the team now. Michael joins us as our technician and Debbie as our stage manager. The work becomes about supporting the performance and ensuring that what the audience sees is excellent every time.  Helen Gregg who adapted the text with me is the performer and she now has to consider the audience as they watch the piece and ensure that they are following what she’s doing as well as being entertained by the piece.

The live performance will be longer than the film as we allow for pauses, moments to linger a little and hopefully laughter. We work on ensuring that the narrative makes sense by itself. We work on the pace to ensure that the audience has something interesting to follow at all times, whether that is the soundscape, the visuals, or Helen’s performance.

As I write this, we are preparing to present the show for the first time at the Cork Midsummer Festival for an audience of children and their adults. We are excited, nervous, and hopeful that all of our work over the past few months will pay off and that the audience will enjoy the fruits of our labor. We hope that they will leave entertained and knowing a little bit more about Ulysses, written 100 years ago by James Joyce.