Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Marketing 'The Quare Land'

When Vivian Clarke and Bernard Berney aren’t going over their lines for the reprise of ‘The Quare Land’, they’re either pub-crawling or going to Mass, writes Brian Byrne.

Which is not quite like it sounds, because they're actually on a mission. Not from God, like the Blues Brothers, but from Kilcullen Drama Group.

Or, more simply, marketing their performance. In between their rehearsals, both eminent Kilcullen Drama Group actors have been soliciting an audience.

“Especially in places like Dunlavin, Hollywood and Ballymore,” says Vivian Clarke, the younger of the duo in years (though there would be conflict if any imputation was made about a differentiation in ability). “We tour the pubs, and tell the people in them what we’re doing.”

In that part of the hinterland of Kilcullen, they don’t need to explain themselves much. “People will come up to us and ask ‘what are ye doing now?’,” Vivian says. It even works when they arrive to shill their gig at Mass in such communities. But the timing has to be right. “They’ll stop and talk to us about the show before they go in to Mass,” says Bernard. “They’ll even let themselves be late. But on the way out, they’re just interested in getting away.”

That’s all a reflection of the heritage of Kilcullen Drama Group, which has always been an organisation to which the outlying villages would provide support, regardless of the play.

The two-hander production stars Vivian and Bernard playing a land developer and land owner respectively, with Bernard spending his whole time on stage in a bath. The original four-night run in April of this year was extended by another four nights, and due to popular demand it will be on stage again on the nights of 7/8/9 September.

The proceeds of the first night are being given to the Teach na nDaoine project.