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The Churching of Happy Cullen created by Louise Lewis and Simon Manahan is a one woman piece based around life in 1913 Tenement Dublin with a strong emphasis on physical theatre as a means of storytelling.
With a strong personal family history rooted in the tenement life of Dublin, in particular Dominic street and Church Street tenements, our research both in family interviews and through the national archive brought us to the creation of our character Happy Cullen. Our exploration of the lives of women in the tenements introduced us to the difficulties of their daily lives, from unemployment, to child mortality, hunger, abject poverty as well as introducing us to the idea of the Churching of women after childbirth. From the point of view of knowing nothing about The Churching of Women it became apparent to us, through our research, that this was a practice that sat uneasy with a lot of women at the time and in doing so fuelled our imaginations as theatre makers. The fact that in 2012/2013 few of our generation knew of the practice of Churching, this became the catalyst for the telling of Happy's story, and that of so many Irish women throughout the following decades.For both of us we believe strongly in the idea that we are formed by our past, and in trying to understand who we are now and in order to move forward we must look to these, the personal stories of who we are and not allow them to be forgotten.
Following on from our successful In Development showing at the recent THEATRE MACHINE TURNS YOU ON Vol 3 at The Project Arts Centre, we want to bring the show now to full production as part of this years Dublin Fringe Festival and to continue our artistic collaborations with the experienced and very talented team we have assembled: Alma Kelliher Sound Design, Eoin Winning Lighting Design and Nyree Yergainharsian as Creative Producer.
Even the smallest contribution through this Fund it campaign would make a massive difference in helping make The Churching of Happy Cullen happen. Funds raised through this campaign will help us cover rental of rehearsal space, advertising, design, printing, lighting, costumes…… the list is a mile long.
Thanks in advance for helping. We appreciate your role in making this show happen, it is essential!!