Angels in the Park (2013-2016)

Angels in the Park, a promenade performance of 10-minute plays set in a park, was our second, and is our latest, off-site production. We have been working on this project since 2013, and it has since become an annual project which has grown and expanded. Angels in the Park started out as an experimental project for The Ranelagh Arts Festival, who supported it’s development from the beginning. The audience are led to different locations within a park, or green space, where each play takes place. At the start of the project we accepted international submissions, however, the project now focuses exclusively on Irish writing.

Angels in the Park II (2016 NATIONAL TOUR)

Muireann D’arcy and Des Nealon perform Breeze and Onion Crisps by Sharon McCoy at the National Botanic Gardens 2016

In 2015 we put out a national call for new play submissions for the 2016 Angels project, as we had decided to present a brand new set of Angels plays for the first time since the project began. We received approximately eighty play entries, from which we selected five plays, all by new emerging Irish writers. Our final selection included:

Fairview’s Finest Dancer by Patrick O’Sullivan
Breeze and Onion Crisps by Sharon McCoy
The University of Grief by Shane Connolly
Forgiveness by Owen Fitzpatrick
Food of Love by Lorna Kelly Dalton

Featuring actors: Charleigh Bailey,Muireann D’arcy,Rob Harrington,Michael Heavey,Geraldine McAlinden,Des Nealon,Joe Purcell,and Margaret Toomey.

Directed by Shiva Artistic Director Aoibhinn Marie Gilroy. Assistant Director Alan Farrell.

Venues 2016:

Beaulieu House, as part of Drogheda Arts Festival.
The Lexicon Library, Dun Laoghaire. 12.30 & 3.30pm.
Howth Midsummer Literary and Arts Festival
Áras an Uachtaráin (Irish Presidential Home)
National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin.
National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh.

Shiva Productions also teamed up with Dublin City Council to bring FREE performances of the outdoor show to Dublin audiences in city parks.

Angels in the Park 2015 Tour

Charleigh Bailey and Joe Purcell perform Angels in the Park by Graham Stull at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2015).

In 2015 we selected five plays of our most popular plays, and for the first time dedicated ourselves to presenting only Irish writing, and toured them nationally and internationally.

Plays selected:

Street Angel by Oliver McQuillen
The Deal by Catherine Barry
Life After Fred by Colum Kavanagh
Angels in the Park by Graham Stull
by Peter Sheridan

Featuring actors: Muireann D’Arcy, Padraig Murray, Michael O’Sullivan, Rynagh O’Grady, Polly Lloyd, Joe Purcell, Charleigh Bailey, and Ste Murray.

Venues 2015

Drogheda Arts Festival.
The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin.
The National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh.
Killruddery House, Co.Wicklow.
Mile End Park, London.
Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.

Angels in the Park 2014 Tour Sponsored by Dublin City Council Arts Office.

@ Ranelagh Gardens for RANELAGH ARTS FESTIVAL –  22nd – 27th September 2014

Ste Murray and Eamon Rohan perform Nobody Smokes Anymore by Peter Sheridan. 2014.

Plays performed:

  • Footfall by Marisa O’Mahony
  • Secrets by Lorna Kelly Dalton
  • Life After Fred by Colum Kavanagh
  • Across the Pond by Shane Fallon
  • Nobody Smokes Anymore by Peter Sheridan

Featuring actors Muireann Darcy, Shane Fallon, Laura Kelly, Polly Lloyd, Cate Mac Gabhann, Eddie Murphy, Ste Murray, Peter O’Byrne, Rynagh O’Grady, Joe Purcell, Eamon Rohan, Lisa Walsh.

@ Merrion Square August 24th 2014.

Lisa Walsh and Eamon Rohan perform Nobody Smokes Anymore. Merrion Square. 2014.

Plays performed:

  • Angels in the Park by Graham Stull
  • The Deal by Catherine Barry
  • Street Angel by Oliver McQuillan
  • Nobody Smokes Anymore by Peter Sheridan

Featuring (in order of appearance) Peter O’Byrne, Katie White, Rose Henderson, Joe Purcell, Pádraig Murray, Muireann D’arcy, Eamon Rohan, Ste Murray and Lisa Walsh.

The production was featured on RTE’s Arts Show Arena. Listen to it here:!rii=9%3A20638397%3A1526%3A22%2D08%2D2014%3A

@ Axis:Ballymun – May 12th-15th 2014

Into The Mist performed at Axis Theatre

Margaret Toomey and Charlie Bonner perform Into the Mist by Karl O’Neill at the Axis (2014).

For this phase of Angels in the Park we selected 5 plays from our Ranelagh Arts Festival line-up and added 3 new plays. All 8 plays were performed at Axis Ballymun from 12th – 16th May. The 8 plays were alternated each day so that audiences could see all plays over 2 lunchtimes, or on alternate days. Here is a list of plays and the artists involved:

Monday 12th, Wednesday 14th (1-1.50pm approx) Friday 16th May (8pm)

  • Angels in the Park by Graham Stull. Featuring Peter O’Byrne and Katie White.
  • Into the Mist by Karl O’Neill. Featuring Margaret Toomey and Charlie Bonner.
  • Blackout by Alex De Witt. Featuring Tara Flynn and Padraig Murray.
  • Nobody Smokes Anymore by Peter Sheridan. Featuring Ste Murray, Eamon Rohan and Ann Marie Taaffe.

Tuesday 13th, Thursday 15th (1-1.50 approx) Friday 16th May (8pm)

  • Street Angel by Oliver McQuillan. Featuring Sarah Allen Clarke and Padraig Murray.
  • The Last Place We Were Happy by Peter Reid. Featuring Peter O’Byrne and Shane  Gately.
  • The Lunchbreak Manifesto by Kevin Jones. Featuring Cate MacGabhann and Ann Marie  Taaffe.
  • The Deal by Catherine Barry. Featuring Rose Henderson and Joe Purcell.

All plays were directed by Shiva Artistic Director Aoibhinn Marie Gilroy

@ Dubh Linn Gardens, Dublin Castle Sunday 4th May 2014

With kind permission of Dublin Castle we performed in the confines of Dubh Linn Gardens.

Plays Performed

Angels in the Park by Graham Stull
The Lunchbreak Manifesto by Kevin Jones
The Deal by Catherine Barry
Nobody Smokes Anymore by Peter Sheridan.

Watch our short video of our performance at Dublin Castle here:

Angels in the Park @ Ranelagh Gardens, Ranelagh Arts Festival, 23rd -28th September 2013.

Shane Fallon performs Across the Pond in Ranelagh Gardens (2014)

Plays performed:

  • Angels in the Park by Graham Stull
  • The Deal by Catherine Barry                                                                                      
  • Blackout by Alex De Witt
  • Nobody Smokes Anymore by Peter Sheridan                                                        
  • Across the Pond by Shane Fallon

Featuring actors Peter O’Byrne, Edel Murphy, Cate Mac Gabhann, Ann Marie Taaffe, Eileen Fennell, Joe Purcell, Maria Tecce, Mike Finn, Shane Fallon, Lisa Walsh, Eamon Rohan and Ste Murray.

Selection Process 2013:

We received approximately 220 short plays from Ireland, the UK, Canada and India. The standard was exceptionally high. We narrowed the submissions down to the top 30 plays and from this selected the final 6 plays. Our objective was to include as much new Irish work as possible, while including some international work. We would like to thank all of the writers who submitted their work. We are very happy to have made new writing contacts in Ireland and abroad.

Watch highlights of the 2013 production of Angels in the Park:

Response to Angels in the Park from audience members and arts practitioners: 

“You deserve all the plaudits. The productions were excellent. The promenade use of the space was inspired [...] The audience were entertained, challenged and went home changed somewhat by what they’d seen. You can’t ask for more.” – Peter Sheridan

“Congratulations on a truly beautiful piece of work” – Liam Halligan, Theatre Director, Quare Hawks Theatre Company

“Well written, exceptional performances, great directing. The whole ‘park’ concept worked brilliantly. Well done and congrats!” – Adrian Cosgrove, Audience Member

“I thought the whole thing was brilliant. It was witty, well-rounded and superbly acted [....] so clever in terms of leading the audience around from setting to setting [...] Well done on a great production and I hope that it catches the eye of some entity who’ll fund you to produce more in a similar vein. I’ll certainly be talking to people about it.” - Mark Colfer, Audience Member.

“A magical afternoon [...] a truly enjoyable experience. Well done, more!!!!” - Colette Caddle, Novelist.

“6 free plays in one hour… yes please! The link has all the info you need but the quick summary is a lot of people meet outside the spar in Ranelagh at 1pm and you all walk into a park where you watch 6 great plays for an hour and hopefully leave with a smile on your face like I did today.” – Blogger.

Breaktime @ Cinnamon Café – A Happening Event

On 1st April 2013 Shiva in collaboration with Spanish artist Inma Chincoa staged a series of devised scenes around Cinnamon Café in Ranelagh unbeknownst to the public. The performance piece featured 14 actors and 2 classically trained singers, who communicated in various languages including Irish Sign Language, Spanish, Hindi, French and Italian. The project was explored universal body language and our ability to read and interpret it, even when we don’t understand the language spoken.

The following video’s are not footage of the original event, but were filmed subsequently for our own records. We chose not to film the actors performing the scenes for the first time as we didn’t want the public to realise it was part of a performance. Following the scenes in different languages, two classically trained singers launched into a scene from La Traviata (sung) and the silence was such that you could hear a pin drop. This re-enactment of the performance does not capture the real response of the public to the original performance, which involved some interventions! To watch click the play buttons below.

La Traviata @ Cinnamon


Bloodknot  by Athol Fugard

June 2nd-11th 2011 at Project Arts Centre Dublin

Bloodknot from Shiva Productions

Kolade Agboke & Keith Ward in Bloodknot

Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot is set in a dingy shack in Port Elisabeth, South Africa in 1961, when apartheid still held the country firmly in its grip. Shiva’s premiere production, Blood Knot was staged at the Project Arts Centre in June 2011, directed by artistic director Aoibhinn Marie Gilroy. It starred Kolade Agboke and Keith Ward as brothers divided by skin color but bound together by both pernicious social forces and the mysterious ties of blood.

Irish Independent Review of Blood Knot. Reviewed by John McKeown

With just two men in a tin shack in a crumbling section of Port Elizabeth, Athol Fugard’s 1961 play conjures up the insidious oppressiveness of apartheid. It does so subtly, indirectly, through the close relationship between the two young men, Morrie and Zac, who are half brothers, and with a great deal of unsentimental warmth and humour. Indeed, it’s initially a kind of South African Odd Couple, with Zac, who works in a whites-only park all day, coming home every night with foot sores, to Morrie, who, with feminine considerateness, has a foot bath waiting.

Morrie is saving every cent Zac brings home for a little farm in some empty corner of Africa. But Zac would rather enjoy the present, ideally with a woman. Morrie suggests he finds a female pen pal. Zac hears from Ethel, ’18 and well-developed,’ a white girl. Zac is black. It’s a big problem. Ethel’s brother is a policeman to boot.

It’s through the games of encouragement and discouragement they play on each other, that we see the ugly realities of the system they live under. Morrie vividly points out the dangerous consequences for Zac of playing epistolary cat and mouse with Ethel, while Zac arouses Morrie’s white ambitions with visions of him taking Ethel for tea. For Morrie is light-skinned enough to pass for white, another twist in the knot of common blood between them.

Director Aoibhinn Marie Gilroy ensures there isn’t one dull moment. While Keith Ward as Morrie, and Kolade Agboke allow the play’s language of biblical simplicity and power to possess and define them fully and naturally.


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