Hurricane

Rachel O'riordan-dormer

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationIrish Tour; Assembly Rooms at Edinburgh Festival 2003 (British Council Showcase); British Tour; Westend; Off Broadway New York
PublisherUnknown Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2002

Bibliographical note

Medium of Output: VHS Video
Brief details of Performance: My practice is concerned with how the actors’ body can be used to provide an emotional conduit for the audience. To this end, I employ a physical approach to performance rooted in the work of classical ballet and in the work of Martha Graham and Pina Bausch; it is the use of words as impetus, trigger and as ‘score’ that fascinates me, rather than text as the dominant mode of understanding. Hurricane set out to investigate the relative roles of director and writer/performer in the context of a highly physicalized male solo performance. Hurricane was written and performed by Richard Dormer, commissioned and devised/directed by Rachel O'Riordan for Ransom Productions (founded 2002). The subject was Belfast born snooker legend, Alex Higgins. I have interrogated the male body on stage, in its relationships to power and vulnerability, in almost all my productions; from the self-destructive Higgins in Hurricane to an all-male production of Much Ado About Nothing (Lyric, Belfast 2007) to Napoleon in Animal Farm (Peter Hall Company 2007). Hurricane featured in the British Council Showcase in Malta as evidence of the best of British Theatre practice, and has generated three awards (The Stage Best Actor, The Tron Best Performance, the Stewart Parker award for New Writing). It tranferred to East 59th St Theatre off Broadway after its run in the West End (Soho Theatre). The performance was reviewed by the national broadsheet press, with five star reviews across the board (The Telegraph, Times, Guardian, Spectator, Observer, Independent among others), in theatre journals and industry publications. The author/actor and director gave frequent post-show discussions during which process was discussed with the audience. Hurricane was published in The Tiger in Winter: Six Contemporary Irish Plays, Methuen, 2006 (ISBN:0413772276), edited by John Fairleigh, a collection of new plays focusing on Irish masculinities.

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