101% Funded


Target: €4000


€4,075 Raised


84 Funders

Brace - Fionnuala & Skeffy to Edinburgh

By Brace - Fionnuala And Skeffy


I've performed Ailliliú Fionnuala, about the Shell Corrib gas project, more than sixty times in all four provinces of Ireland since its premiere in Theatre Upstairs, Eden Quay, Dublin last November, and now I'll bring it to an international audience in Edinburgh. There have been feature pieces on it in the Irish Independent, Hot Press, RTE Radio's Arena, Galway Bay FM and Ocean FM. It was in the Pavilion Dún Laoghaire with a screening of The Pipe 6th June, and will also be in Belmullet Arts Centre, Linenhall Castlebar and Riverbank Newbridge in the coming weeks.

In Edinburgh I'll be performing it in alternating rep in the Hill Street Solo Theatre, at the invitation of Universal Arts and co-produced by Morag Neil, with Skeffy, a new show I'm developing based on the man close friend James Joyce dubbed "Hairy Jaysus"; feminist, atheist and militant pacifist, executed in Dublin, Easter Week 1916 - Francis Sheehy-Skeffington.

Previous solo shows of mine include Bat The Father Rabbit The Son (published by Methuen), which had a sellout run in Edinburgh in 1990 and also played New York, Chicago, London, Australia and New Zealand; Catalpa (published New Island/Nick Hern Books), Edinburgh Fringe First 1996, Best Event Melbourne 1997, and toured to New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Geneva, Finland, Belgrade and most recently Harare and Lusaka; and Joyced! (published by Stinging Fly in collection Freshly Brewed) performed by my daughter Katie O'Kelly, nominated for Edinburgh Best Solo Performer by The Stage UK last year, and performed more than 100 times in the past two years by Katie.

I'm bringing Fionnuala to Edinburgh because its chosen form, bog magic realism, is suited to international touring, and the Shell Corrib gas project needs international attention. There were reasons why Latin American writers developed magic realism as a literary code, and there are reasons why bog magic realism is a suitable vessel for this theatre piece.

I want to bring Skeffy to Edinburgh because the Sheehy-Skeffington vision is needed urgently in today's world. We should live in a society of which we're citizens, not in an economy of which we're producing and consuming units, which we're lulled into accepting as the inevitable norm. It's arguable that a war is being daily waged against the poor of the planet, and against the concept of active democratic citizenship. Sheehy-Skeffington erected a banner outside the flat he lived in with his wife and fellow-activist Hanna. It said "Damn Your War", aimed at the major-general who lived nearby. He was jailed for making FORTY anti-recruitment speeches. He went on hunger-and-thirst strike and was released. His and Hanna's spirit of challenge to glib acceptance of tyranny is needed now, and I hope Brace (Fionnuala and Skeffy) in Edinburgh will make some contribution to that end.

Note: The money raised through this Fundit scheme will pay for Fringe and venue registration fees, transport, accomodation and publicity costs for the four-week Edinburgh run.

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Edinburgh adventure draws to a close

It's been a busy few weeks in Edinburgh. A Scotsman Fringe First award, and several five-star reviews. Tomorrow night, I'm going along with my daughter Katie to The Stage awards ceremony where Fionnuala is nominated for Best Solo Performance. I have to leg it to do the last performance of Fionnuala once the photos are taken. Did the last Skeffy show tonight, and it's feeling like a real show now, with serious potential. It's been great to focus international attention on the human rights abuses surrounding the Shell Corrib gas project, especially with the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression nomination, and to start focussing attention on the ideas of the forgotten visionary of early 20th century Ireland, Frank Sheehy Skeffington. Major thanks to all the Fundit contributors, I wouldn't have got here without you. BUT, questions to be asked now about Fundit's links with Merrill Lynch bank, thanks to Conor McCabe's revelations that Merrill Lynch take a percentage of Fundit's books. I didn't know that, shudda read the small print, so now to ask questions and investigate further, and I'll report back. Thanks again to the contributors. It wouldn't have been possible without your pledges.

Fionnuala wins Scotsman Fringe First award

Thanks to the 84 funders who made it possible for me to bring Fionnuala and Skeffy to the Edinburgh Fringe. Fionnuala won a Scotsman Fringe First award yesterday, and received an excellent review from Joyce McMillan. Wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Fundit donors. http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/blog/2013/08/09/theatre-review-donal-okellys-brace-fionnuala/

Thanks for the support!

Well, the dust has settled and we reached our target of €4000 to bring Brace - Fionnuala and Skeffy to Edinburgh, so huge thanks to all who contributed and to those who spread the word. The next step is for me to fulfill the appropriate rewards for the various amounts pledged, so I'll be sending emails shortly to funders in accordance with the Fundit guidelines. Really looking forward to the whole experience of the Fringe, and to bringing the Shell Mayo gas fiasco and the forgotten ideals of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington to an international stage. Thanks again for the communal support - greatly appreciated.

Squeaky Bum Time a-Coming ..

Okay, we're now entering what former Man Utd manager Alex Ferguson calls squeaky bum time in the Edinburgh Fionnuala and Skeffy Steeplechase. Only 9 days to go in the four-week funding window, and the funding stream for my brace of shows for Edinburgh has gone a teenchy bit sluggish and meandery. Still, over halfway to the target amount of €4000, only a temporary glitch, I feel sure, and soon it'll pick up again like the happy lively little brook it was in the first week. On Saturday, I performed Fionnuala in Belmullet Arts Centre, followed by a lively post-show discussion, and on Sunday, I performed it for the security cameras at the gates of the Shell compound in Aughoose, Erris, Co. Mayo. And afterwards travelled to Moynalty Co. Meath and performed it for the Irish Yoga Festival, where it was warmly received. I'm head-down now in hermit mode writing Skeffy, before the next Fionnuala outings in Linenhall Castlebar 3rd July, and Riverbank Newbridge 4th July. Any pledge gratefully acknowledged, from €10. It all makes a difference, and the sense of group solidarity the many contributions make is very encouraging.

Halfway to Edinburgh

Halfway through the Edinburgh fundraising campaign, and we're at 47%, almost - almost, but not quite! - on schedule! Better than I'd anticipated, I have to say! But I've got to make sure the the second half of the effort reaches the target, or NO funding gets raised!! Last Sunday, Bloomsday 16th June, I presented a first draft reading of Skeffy in the Glens Centre Co. Leitrim after my daughter Katie performed Joyced! It was a great night. I'm looking forward to completing the writing of Skeffy and getting into rehearsal for Edinburgh. And last night I performed Fionnuala in the Camden Palace Cork, where we had a fascinating post-show discussion. If you can't make a funding pledge, please do feel free to spread the word. I think both plays are important shows to bring to Edinburgh, one of the prime shop windows for getting ideas out there on the international circuit.

Difficult second week! Tenners especially welcome!

Okay, we all know about the difficult second album. Now Brace -Fionnuala & Skeffy are into their second week of the four-week Edinburgh Steeplechase! So far, so good. One quarter way around the course, and we've reached just a fiver short of 30%. So in theory - ahead of schedule. In theory .. but now we're into the second week, like a second night in a run, everyone bumping into each other, wrong costumes, wigs gone missing, and the props on the floor in the dark and no torch and can't bend too low 'cos dizzy from the opening night hangover and important not to faint. So I'm making a special appeal for a few tenner donations - just to settle the fettle, get us over the 30%, and give us the illusion of movement, even if slow, steady as she goes. 'Cos the wan thing I can't stand is stasis!

Great start to the Edinburgh Derby for Brace - Fionnuala and Skeffy

I can't believe what a good start I've had to the Fundit campaign to bring Fionnuala and Skeffy to Edinburgh. Been busy writing Skeffy the last few days, but keeping an eye on how it's progressing. We're currently at €1140, well over a quarter of the way to the target €4000, so thanks so much to those who've pledged lolly, and thanks also to those who've shared the Fundit link on facebook. But I'm very wary of that old hazard of which I have too much bitter experience, the False Sense Of Security .. .. smugness comes before a fa-

The road to Edinburgh

We've hit the road to Edinburgh, and 27 days left to raise the 4g necessary to bring FIonnuala and Skeffy to an international stage

funders (84)

There are 73 public funders of this project

There are 11 anonymous funders of this project