The Head of Red O’Brien

The Head of Red O'Brien

BY RONAN CASEY

DIRECTED BY RAE VISSER

TrueWest Theatre Company

‘The Head of Red O’Brien’ takes place in a hospital room, where the character of the title is recovering from a near-fatal assault by his wife. The nature of the injury, arising from a frenzied knife attack, has left O’Brien without any of the cognitive processing skills. Slowly, however, they have returned. Now, on the eve of his imminent checkout, O’Brien gets the opportunity to evaluate his life, as his desires, regrets and hopes are affectionately analyzed.

Writer, Mark O Halloran crafts a tragic-comedy in which ‘Red O Brien’ reflects on the disintegration of his relationship with his wife while displaying passionate storytelling on subjects as diverse as Sean Connery, James Joyce to the ‘Cold war’. At times moving and tragic, at others funny and warm, The Head of Red O Brien is the journey of a wounded and sensitive man from conflict to resolution, ultimately towards a higher realization.

WRITER – Mark O’Halloran is from Ennis, County Clare. An actor and playwright, he wrote and starred in the award-winning film “Adam and Paul “in 2005. Further success came as writer of the Cannes award winning feature film “Garage”. ‘The Head of Red O’ Brien’ was written in 2001 and was his first solo stage play. It is part of a quintet of plays including Mary Motorhead all of which are being produced by Truewest.

ACTOR – John O Dowd Actor,writer and founder of Truewest Productions John O Dowd, originally from Boyle Co. Roscommon, has been living in Galway since 1992. After making his debut in ‘Zelig’ theatre company’s production of ‘The cripple of Inishmaan’ during ‘Project 06’ he has gone on to perform, amongst others, at the Dublin ‘Fringe Festival’ in Pat McCabe’s’ ‘Appointment in Limbo’ and in ‘Single Handed’ for RTE and ‘Moone Boy’ for Sky One.

Director – Galway city resident, Rae Visser graduated with a degree in Fine Art, she then went on to teach for two years, it was then that Rae then decided to complete a theatre production course with GYT – and has been ‘stage-struck’ ever since. Her credits include a work placement with DRUID during their production of Synge’s “Playboy of the Western World”, directed by Garry Hynes. Rae has Stage-managed numerous GYT productions over the years, Rae’s theatre work has seen her with productions at the Town Hall Theatre, Cork Opera House, Cork Millennium Forum and the Galway Arts Centre to name a few. Rae is the creative director of Truewest productions and has directed The Head of Red O Brien, Mary Motorhead and Before the Devil knows you’re dead.

Visual Artist – Ronan Casey, a filmmaker based in Galway, Ireland. He started his career in 2007 working extensively with Suzuki sponsored world champion stunt rider Mattie Griffin. Casey was responsible for all aspects of production and post-production on multi-camera live performances documenting amongst others The Whole Way Round national charity event. He also served as editor and producer on a number of web based promotional shorts. Casey has gone on to produce work for Borys Zagrocki as well as numerous projects for the hospitality and tourism industry in 2009 saw Casey’s short film, “A Short Long Walk” received the ‘Copper Award’ at the Connector.ie Lights, Canon, Action competition.

Music and Soundscape – Mark Long

Mark Long is a graduate of the Music Technology Masters at UL (2004), where he specialized in composition. Following UL, he became involved with several electoacoustic music collectives since, working particularly with surround sound diffusion. A founding member of local electronica group, xklima, with whom Mark has performed at festivals in the UK and continental Europe. Xklima have released an album and two Eps. He has scored and carried out sound design work for a number of radio plays, TV documentaries and small independent films and has worked previously for the BBC and the Farm post production studio in Dublin.

Mark has created soundscapes for Truewests productions of The Head of Red O Brien and Mary Motorhead.