CLONAD native, 22 year old Kate Mulligan is currently producing the award winning play ‘Ahhhh Lad!!’ as part of the Galway Fringe Festival running until July 28. Kate began performing at a young age studying ballet, singing with the Laois School of Music, working with Jesters Stage School and getting involved with Portlaoise Musical and Pantomine Group.
In 2011 she started studying for her Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUIG where she took part in many shows both on stage and behind the scenes. During the year she showcased work in Bewley’s Theatre in Dublin, attended workshops with prominent theatre veterans such as Garry Hynes from Druid Theatre Company, Niall Henry from Blue Raincoat Theatre Company and Mikel Murfi.
She just recently completed an internship with John Scott and his company, Irish Modern Dance Theatre. Kate is one of only six NUIG students chosen to work in a Galway Arts Festival programme entitled Selected. This programme offers the chosen team to gain insight in to the festival and work with world class performers and artists including playwright Tom Murphy and Chic’s Nile Rodgers.
Kate was approached by the playwright Patrick O’Byrne to produce his award winning play in this year’s premier Galway Fringe Festival. The play entitled “Ahhhh Lad!!” won the Jerome Hyne’s Award for ‘Best Play’ in March 2012, toured to the ISDA Fringe Festival in Dublin and performed in the Global Village at the Volvo Ocean Race. The play is a funny and heartfelt look at the psyche of the modern Irish working-class male that will leave you questioning home values and the allure of the All American Dream.
An annual Paddy’s week pilgrimage to New York sees two Irish friends, Jack and Tommy - played respectively by Enda Clarke and Brian O’ Donoghue - ‘drink it out of it’ in the city bars. The craic is flyin’ but a prank by his friend Tommy is the last straw for Jack, who feels ‘the craic’ just isn’t enough for him anymore. He wants a life of purpose.
But whose advice should he listen to? The in-the-know bar owner, Stan - played by Patrick O’Byrne - who sees great possibilities for Jack in New York? Or his best friend, Tommy, whose motives may not be all in Jack’s interest? Can Jack make the new start? Can Tommy, who is about to get married, handle his best friend’s freedom to chase his dream life, while he’s left surrounded by married couples on a quiet Irish country road? There is a desperation, fear and loneliness hidden beneath the unforgiving, cruel sentiments and boorish language that the characters pummel each other with relentlessly throughout the play.
Critics have said: “as we watched the play, we found ourselves responding to the play emotionally-believing in the humanity of the characters, believing in the writing, and being able to imagine these characters not just on stage but off the stage aswell”. The play runs until July 28 with lunchtime shows in Garvey’s pub in Eyre Square at 1pm each day. Tickets are available on the door and can also be purchased online from galwayfringe.ie. The Galway Fringe runs until July 30 with a host of entertainment, including theatre, music workshops, music theatre, childrens’ theatre, art craft and installation.