On A House Like A Fire
In this nostalgic, funny and moving show writer-performer Michelle Read has collaborated with composer Brian Keegan to create a portrait of her mother in words, music and pictures.
‘Margaret is the soul of the house, guardian of the money, a hoarder of anything that might be useful…’
The beautiful digital string score creates a subtle atmosphere of musical echoes, which alongside glimpses of old photographs, retellings of childhood memories and the challenges of living with Alzheimers, evokes a portrait of Margaret as a younger and older woman in this highly relatable and affectionate personal story.
‘…told without even a hint of sentimentality, slowly building a picture of a woman… who created a world for herself and her family from the most common items found in any house… who emerges as a formidable personality, able to make her own decisions about life.’
Show of the Week **** Michael Moffet, Irish Mail on Sunday
Sometimes in a gesture or a turn of phrase, sometimes in a cherished object or glimpsed in an old photograph, a loved one reappears. On A House Like A Fire explores a relationship through the shifting repetitions of long term memory and explores the importance of all the places where memory resides.
Important Information about this performance:
On buying a ticket, audience members are sent a copy of Margaret’s recipe for Date & Orange Loaf and invited to bake it. The recipe itself is handwritten and has been much used as evidenced by the cooking stains it contains. It is one of Michelle’s significant memory objects of Margaret, but it is also practical and delicious.
Post-show Conversation – the audience are invited to stay on once the show has finished to discuss where memories are held and how they are found. This runs at approx 10-15mins.
Creative Engagement Workshop – In connection with On A House Like A Fire by Michelle Read and Brian Keegan, writer-performer Michelle Read is inviting theatre lovers and creative writers to take part in two linked workshops hosted by glór.
The first takes place in your home – via Zoom – where Michelle will invite you to choose and share an object that holds good memories of someone significant in your life who has passed away. In the follow-up, live workshop you are invited to bring your object along to glór, where Michelle will lead conversation and writing exercises which focus on capturing those important memories.
Part 1: Sat 16th July 12pm noon Via Zoom (Duration 1 hour)
Part 2: Wednesday 20th July 3pm in person in glór STUDIO space. (Duration 2 hours)
The workshop (Parts 1 & 2) cost €8 + €1 Booking fee, and are suitable for ages 14+. Workshops are limited to 10 persons and must be pre-booked by Wednesday 13th July.
Michelle Read and Brian Keegan are collaborating independent artists with a passion for the impact and power of live performance.
Michelle Read (writer/performer) & Brian Keegan (composer)
Michelle is an award-winning theatre-maker with a background in stand-up comedy – she has been making theatre in Ireland for nearly thirty years. Her comedy-drama ‘Bang!’ recently premiered at the Dublin Theatre Festival, while ‘On A House Like A Fire’ had its digital premiere at the Bealtaine Festival At Home on film in 2021. Michelle’s aim is to write and produce engaging and emotionally complex stories for the theatre.
Brian is a composer and sound designer who has written music for contemporary concerts, feature-length film dramas and documentaries and numerous short films as well as for theatre. He has composed for a range of performers and ensembles including Concorde, ConTempo and the RTE concert orchestra. His work in collaboration with Michelle includes the original score for ‘On A House Like A Fire’ and the music for the Dublin Theatre Festival production of ‘Bang!’
Quotes from audience members:
On A House Like A Fire ‘was just riveting, brought me back to my own childhood when life was so simple and everything was precious. All the little household items, so clearly depicted. The family time, when people really did have time and those endless summer days on the beach.’ Margaret Gammell, Cork
‘It works extremely well both visually and aurally, stirs memory and emotion…’ Robert Coen, Dublin
‘…so gentle and wistful. It made me reflect on my own parental relationships. I felt that I could make so many connections with Margaret, especially her sense of humour and her frugal habits…’ Patricia McBride, Letterkenny
‘…absolutely stunning, very moving and thought-provoking, a very intimate portrait.’ Mia Gallagher, Dublin
‘…such an evocative piece.’ Denise Millar, Norwich
‘Heartbreaking and yet not overly sentimental.’ Tracey Rennie, Dublin
‘I thought it was a beautiful piece of theatre, like a gentle poem, full of memories. Relatable and beautiful…’ Donna Doubtfire, Oxford
‘Great production well done to everyone involved.’ Ian Coppinger, Dublin