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Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015

Well we are home again and in one piece. All 16 of us! Six musicians, four dancers, a floating performer, a technician, an apprentice and three hot girlfriends. The difference between the first show and last was remarkable. A leap from dismal to dazzling. This show biz is a right ol’ rollercoaster. I still haven’t knocked the nerves. When Donal and the lads crank up ‘Horses’ as the opener, Deirdre, Roisin and I are still cacking ourselves side stage. Poor Neil is on the far side, alone, quaking, terrified Michael Barkley will ask him to help with his cufflinks again! We got some good reviews, what a relief. Always a relief. There’s mixed attitudes about reviews, many say that you shouldn’t read them at all. I always do, I can’t help it. I’m always delighted with the good ones and steady my chin with the bad ones. Here is a great line from Kelly Apter, she came on the first night, lord, I wish she had come on the last! What would she have said then?! ‘There is a rare energy to a ponydance show, that hits you right between the eyes’ Full review is here

Dancebase were as always, the most wonderful hosts, just wonderful. Morag, Helen, Sarah, Matt, Grahame, John and many others. That building and everyone in it are pillars of the arts, infinite thanks to them. They gave us the kind of gig that keeps morale high in the camp for months and not enough can be said for that. It was a delight to pass the door of Pat Kinevane’s dressing room, watch him put on his make-up or listen to his accent bounce off the walls long after he left the room, he is only brilliant, queues out the door for his show. It was a pleasure to share a dressing room with Company Chameleon (get some exercise lads) and an honour to share a bill with Wendy Houston. I stood gawping at her in the foyer on the first day and as she walked by she caught my eye and slowed down with a ‘do i know you?’ expression on her face. Poor Wendy, she doesn’t know me of course, but I know her and she shook my hand while I explained myself. A privilege to see Caroline Bowditch’s show, ‘Falling in love with Frida’, she is extraordinarily generous and we will be robbing her idea of handing out shots of Tequila to everyone at the beginning of the show. We told her as much too.

Ponies don’t play football was first performed in October 2013, so it’s nearly two years old now and has seen plenty of changes of course. We performed it again in the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and the Dublin Dance Festival 2014. The original cast included Oona Doherty, Sara Cwojdzinski and Conor Scullion. The cast in Edinburgh were Donal Scullion, Gareth Doran, Brendan Scullion, Steve Quinn, John McCourt, Michael Barkley, Neil Hainsworth, Roisin Laffan, Deirdre Griffin, Emily McDonagh and apprenctice Abbie Madden, lit by Sean McCormack. A pleasure to work with you all! This show is so big that it is hard to tour, so I can’t help but feel that it might never go again, so it was great to be the final show in the Dancebase programme for Edinburgh Fringe 2015. The ‘headline act’ if you will….well until the Taiwanese (Tjimur Dance Theatre) stole that title on the dancefloor at the post festival party. We’ll get them next year!

Thanks to Culture Ireland for getting us to Edinburgh, Arts Council Ireland for supporting the creation of the show in the first place
and Morag Deyes and Dancebase for having us, a thousand thank yous.

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Here is another article by Kelly Apter for The Scotsman written before we opened, if ye care to read it aswell.

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