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Little 'Test' for Nenagh Arts Centre!

Wednesday, 10th May, 2017 3:31pm
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Little 'Test' for Nenagh Arts Centre!

Roseanna Purcell following the recent reading of 'Test Copy' at Nenagh Arts Centre. Photograph by Bridget Delaney

Little 'Test' for Nenagh Arts Centre!

Roseanna Purcell following the recent reading of 'Test Copy' at Nenagh Arts Centre. Photograph by Bridget Delaney

'Test Copy', a play produced by Littleton actor-writer Roseanna Purcell, will be staged at Nenagh Arts Centre this Saturday night, May 13th.

'Test Copy' follows the story of Louise Fennessy, just one of 89 Transition Year students in an all-girls secondary school, St Catherine's Convent, in the fictional town of 'Slievemore', Co Tipperary. Louise is an outsider in an environment ruled by chaos and rough reputations. While she struggles to stand out amongst a backdrop of wild, boisterous personalities, she manages to catch the attention of her hero, the roughest and, to her mind, the coolest girl in school.


Louise unexpectedly then gets carried away into a new-found world of respect, territory and attention. Things go wrong for her however, and as quickly as she was invited up to the top tier, she is kicked right back down again to a nobody. Louise really enjoyed the attention and notice that came with her new associates, and now that it's been taken away from her, she is determined to get it back, by whatever means necessary.


The piece is fun, punchy and edgy. It is set in a fictional town to enhance the universal scale of the issues along with the fun and humour, and also to ensure that this is not a biographical piece. All characters, places and events come from artistic license and imagination but with plenty of Tipperary twang and idioms thrown in for good measure.


A reading of 'Test Copy' was recently performed at Nenagh Arts Centre as the centre's first in-house production under a new pilot scheme supporting local artists in making theatre. Tipperary Arts Office is also supporting this initiative. Roseanna originally performed 20 minutes of her play at a festival in Cork, at which Nenagh Arts Centre Manager Tom Dowling was in the audience, as well as Pat Kiernan, now the director of the show.


“As an actor in Ireland nowadays, you have to be as resourceful as you can,” Roseanna said. “Many artists are making their own exciting work rather than sitting around and waiting for the phone to ring.


“In a competitive industry, it can get very frustrating with the lack of work for the amount of us in it. 'Test Copy' is a story I have always wanted to tell and I felt now was the perfect time to tell it. I have found the process of writing so challenging and rewarding.


“I'm so grateful to Tom, all in Nenagh Arts Centre and the Tipperary Arts Office, for the opportunity to perform a piece set in the heart of Tipperary to its own people.”


A black comedy examining violence and peer pressure in an all-girls secondary school, Roseanna is looking forward to performing 'Test Copy' in Nenagh and hopeful that local people will enjoy “the madness of it, the fun of it, and the issues it deals with...


“I really hope the show gets an audience and people can support the local work being made,” she said. “I think the arts are so fundamental to any community and bring so much life to any locality.


“I hope people trust they will enjoy a different type of entertainment for an hour or two, that they will get behind and engage with the brilliant, creative arts scene happening in Tipperary.”


Catch 'Test Copy' at Nenagh Arts Centre this Saturday at 8.30pm (tickets €15/€11).


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