Chatting ‘Remember To Breathe’ with playwright Orla Murphy

It’s had a string of four-star reviews from the likes of Broadway Baby, The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner, Edinburgh Spotlight, The Stage and more. It packs a cracking cast and has been summed up as ‘spellbinding’.

The setting? A pool in post-earthquake New Zealand. Recent emigrant Maeve (played by Abbey Theatre regular Liz Fitzgibbon) is learning to swim. Self-professed ‘swimaholic’ coach, Doreen (Julie Sharkey) spurs her on. Maeve battles the water and an unresolved dilemma with her much-loved father (Irish Times Theatre Award nominee Raymond Keane) back home.

Via The Stage

In this spellbinding script by Orla Murphy, each new swim stroke and underwater plunge allows Maeve’s thoughts to float free, allowing her to explore new depths of who she is and where she is right now – the career risk involved in moving overseas, balancing the tug of a Kiwi romance with the family left behind, debating whether nightly Skype catch-ups are enough for a long-distance life.

Murphy as director takes this flight of whimsy and moulds it on stage into a multi-levelled platform for Maeve’s thoughts and memories, giving time and place the effect of a 360-degree camera view through an inventive use of space with sculpted sound and lighting that follow the action with split-second timing to create the other-worldly atmosphere of Maeve’s experience in the water.

How have audiences been finding it?

I caught up with writer and director Orla Murphy ahead of her final two shows (of the current run). Take a listen below to hear more about Remember To Breathe.

Remember To Breathe performs at the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny on Tuesday 4 October, concluding its current Irish run at Garter Lane on Wednesday 5 October. For more, check Facebook here.

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Ken McGuire

Broadcaster and sports writer at KCLR96FM; digital media head with a production eye on theatre, film and video; lover of all things food and music. Currently working on his Brazilian jiu-jitsu game.

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