Find out more about “And Go to Innisfree”, the latest offering from English theatre group the New World Theatre Club
“And Go to Innisfree” is the latest offering from English theatre group the New World Theatre Club, which will in June be performed in a European theatre contest. Delano spoke to director Christine Probst to find out more.
How did the play come about?
I have been reading a lot for plays with women, especially women of varying ages and I came across “And Go to Innisfree”, by Jean Lenox Toddie. I was struck by its seeming simplicity and its surprising layers. I took the opportunity of New World Theatre Club's Cafe Villon setting last June to host a staged reading of “And Go to Innisfree”. New World Theatre club restarted the Cafe Villon evenings, which are informal opportunities to sample possible plays for performance, bounce off ideas for plays, read excerpts of plays, etc. in front of a small audience and then get feedback from them. I wanted to get feedback of the play; would it be worth staging, and more importantly, would it be a good play to take to the Festival of European Anglophone Theatre Societies (FEATS) competition this year? There was resounding support from the audience and I planned from there.
What is it about?
“And Go to Innisfree”is about coming to terms with age. An older woman, Anna, on the brink of 80, has come down to the deserted beach on an early September morning searching for an answer. She lives on the beach, and she has recently sold her house where she has lived for 50 years. She must decide what her next step is. While she is pondering and deliberating, she is visited by her younger self in two forms. One is the young girl she once was, whimsical, carefree, curious, pulling her into the past of blueberry tarts and simplicity. And the other is her middle-aged, maternal self, reasoning her to stay and live in the retirement village down the road. Each part of her pulls her to choose.
Who is involved?
Old Anna is played by Niamh Huggard, Middle Anna by Lisa Burke and Young Anna by Rachel Lloyd.
Tell us more about FEATS
FEATS is a competitive festival amongst amateur English-language theatre groups based in continental Europe and takes place in a different city in late spring each year. FEATS has received many accolades in the theatre world as the best-organised, highest-quality English theatre festival in continental Europe. Twelve groups compete in the main festival, so three one-act plays are performed each evening. A professional adjudicator from GoDA (Guild of Drama Adjudicators) reviews every group’s production at the end of each evening and awards prizes at the end of the festival, including the best three productions, best actor and actress, stage presentation, stage management, original script and more.
New World Theatre Club is one of the founding members of FEATS. NWTC has participated on and off (it is a rotating performance schedule) since 1978. Over the decades it has won several awards at the Festival. The last show to go was in 2015 with “Strange Horsemen”, which won third place and before that in 2010 NWTC won first place and best actor with David Mamet's Jolly.
This year the FEATS festival is in Frankfurt, Germany, 2-5 June.
Where and when to see it
“And Go to Innisfree” is performed at the Château de Bourglinster on 25, 26 and 27 May at 7:30pm. And on 27 and 28 May at 2:30pm. Evening performances include an Indian buffet.