It’s been devastating to see the havoc this virus has wreaked on all levels of society this year. I’ve also watched in awe as so many creatives have gritted their teeth and used this time to demand that changes are made and that artists are better supported in Galway and across the country. To all of you slogging your way up that hill, please don’t forget to take time to rest and look after yourself wherever you can.
Having received Arts Council project awards to make and tour Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls, we’re thrilled to let you all know that Moonfish have been awarded funding under the Arts Council’s Arts Grant strand for 2021. With so many younger companies competing for project awards, it feels right that Moonfish would, as it were, get out of the way of the project fund this year. We’re so grateful to have received this funding; It’s an honour to have made this step forward and we won’t be taking this responsibility lightly. We’ll be using this opportunity to take the first of many steps towards diversifying our ensemble and enabling communities in Galway from different backgrounds to make work. We’re also planning other projects, and have been approached about some collaborations too. Hopefully we can share more about these projects with you as we move forward with them. We’re also fortunate enough to be funded annually by Galway City Council who have increased their investment in Moonfish this year. Many thanks to the Arts Council and to Galway City Council.
On to the project that has allowed us to get creative during this time of shutdown! Earlier this year, realising that audiences would find it incredibly difficult to connect with art face to face this year, we teamed up with Baboró International Arts Festival for Children with the idea of creating theatre for young audiences via the medium of a radio play. The world of radio is something we’ve been keen to dive into for a long time, so we were delighted to start working with Baboró on our latest project; a fantastical, magical audio journey devised via Zoom by the Moonfish ensemble, for audiences between 6 and 12 years old, inspired by the extraordinary times we’re living through - Into the World Within.
We are so excited to use this radio play as an opportunity to introduce a new generation to the wonder of audio drama, and in particular to the magic of creating their own foley art. Workshops will accompany Into the World Within and through video documentation, children will witness the making of the play in the studio, experience the world of foley creation first hand, and learn how they can create their own audio dramas from their homes or classrooms!
Our plans to record Into the World Within this month have had to be postponed due to the tightening of restrictions, however we will start working on bringing this project to audiences as soon as it is safe to do so. Huge thanks to our co-production partners Baboró for all their help and encouragement thus far, and to Just Art It, who are providing massive amounts of creative support. We can’t wait to work with both of them again once we’re allowed to!
It’s been amazing to watch festivals like Baboró, GTF and the Dublin Fringe innovate, and basically bust a gut to bring art to audiences despite massive roadblocks thrown in their respective paths. Their determination to survive through Covid and into the years beyond is hugely inspiring, and I’m always secretly hoping it’s not taking too much of a mental toll on those involved. Our stage manager, Sorcha, reckons that whenever new restrictions are announced we could do with an additional announcement from a mental health expert who would advise us what we can expect to be experiencing mentally too. What do you think?
Photos by Seán T O'Meallaigh