A Holy Show
I recently researched, wrote and designed the show programme for Janet Moran’s A Holy Show – a comedy based on the 1981 hijacking of an Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to London by an Australian ex-Trappist monk. His weapon of choice? A bottle of holy water.
The design is drawn from the look of Aer Lingus safety leaflets of the 1980s – when flying was still relatively glamorous and smoking was allowed during taxi, takeoff and landing (and all through the flight).
To set this bizarre event in context, I made a timeline of Ireland in 1981, placing key moments along an airplane evacuation map – events including: the building of Knock Airport; the Maze Hunger Strikes; the manufacture of the first Delorean car in Belfast; and the march-out of the Irish Army’s very first women recruits. This timeline occupied the centre spread of the programme.
Bespoke show programmes are a rare treat, and I love when I get the opportunity to make one. You can see some others I’ve worked on here.
A Holy Show was written and directed by Janet Moran, performed by Catríona Ennis and Patrick Moy, and produced by Mermaid Arts Centre. It premiered as part of Dublin Fringe Festival in the Abbey Theatre (on the Peacock Stage) from 8th-15th September 2018. Janet speaks about the genesis of the show with RTÉ Culture here.
“A show that leaves nothing unconsidered. (Even its show programme, a witty continuation of the performance by Kate Heffernan, is a work of art.)”
The 4th in my series of show programmes for Theatre Lovett went into circulation this week – for the opening of They Called Her Vivaldi and its month-long run at the Abbey Theatre (if you’re reading this before December 23rd, you can book tickets here.)
For this series of special show programmes, I start by sitting down with the script and, with the production design aesthetic in mind, I imagine each world to its fullest.
From this I write a full text before designing it into a programme-sized publication (have a look at the 3 previous programmes here.)