A new audio drama exploring the lives of families, couples and individuals on a Dublin housing estate is set to air at An Grianán Theatre from tomorrow.
Marmalade Row is from the pen of Killybegs writer and actor Ultan Pringle who has worked with, among others, the Mac Tíre Theatre and Dublin’s New Theatre.
In more recent times he has been part of Lemon Soap, a theatre group he helped establish along with fellow creatives Lisa Nally, Julia Appleby, HK Ní Shoiradáin and Owen Clarke.
It is from the Lemon Soap stable that Marmalade Row comes, a five-chapter radio play set on a housing development of the same name.
“It’s about residents on this estate, a kind of posh estate, but where each individual is going through these strange moments of introspection,” said Ultan.
Each short chapter has its own characters on their individual journeys but whose lives are intertwined. Like the couple in episode one, a husband and wife who both remember events from 40 years earlier but are trying desperately not to.
Killybegs writer and actor Ultan Pringle whose new radio play Marmalade Row airs from tomorrow evening. You can listen to the five-episode story, free of charge, via www.angrianan.com.In episode two we meet a young man bed-ridden by grief who stares at the ceiling with a dead woman watching.
In three a young trans man sits in his garden singing to God while four follows two lovers trying to find each other.
The final episode focuses on a woman waiting at her kitchen table, looking up at the stars.
“Each is a little odd but there are moments where they come to a realisation about themselves,” according to the author.
The premise for Marmalade Row – which has a total running time of just over half an hour – was born out of the pandemic, a period which lent itself to soul searching and to people asking questions of themselves and of the world.
But it was a conversation with Patricia McBride, Director of An Grianán Theatre, that led to it being brought to life.
“It was probably around January last year when I started writing these bizarre little scripts,” said Ultan.
“I had a conversation with Patricia at An Grianán in August and she agreed to fund it.”
The funding allowed Lemon Soap to bring on board people like Marian O’Dwyer, a Dublin theatre powerhouse and star of movies such as Agnes Browne and Ondine.
In 2018 Marian was nominated for the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Gate Theatre’s production of The Red Shoes.
Also lending their voices are Fair City actor Pat Nolan, Tyrone actress Zara Devlin alongside Laoise Murray, Jilly McGrath, Sammy Copley and Ultan Pringle himself.
“It was only because of An Grianán and the funding they’ve given us that we were able to bring these people on board,” said the Killybegs man.
Marmalade Row runs from tomorrow, February 1 to February 6 and is totally free to listen to. After its run at An Grianán it will be made available on other platforms such as Spotify and Sound Cloud.
To listen simply go to www.angrianan.com tomorrow and look for the link.