‘In The Middle Of’ – In celebration of Mary Lavin Jan 8 – 10, 2020

Meath County Council Arts Office and AOB Arts Management 


In the Middle of…

A music, theatre and literary evening in celebration of Mary Lavin, curated by Deirdre Kinahan

At The Courthouse, Kells, 8 & 9 January @ 8pm, Doors: 7.30pm

and Dublin Unitarian Church, 10 January @ 8pm, Doors: 7.30pm 

In the Middle of… is an eclectic mix of original performance to include music, theatre, readings, spoken-word, and song, in an exciting celebration of the extraordinary life and work of Irish writer, Mary Lavin, by some of Ireland’s top performing artists.

Award-winning playwright, Deirdre Kinahan invites a group of brilliant contemporary artists to respond to Lavin’s evocative short story collection, In the Middle of the Fields, through their chosen art-form. 
Artists include the legendary Steve Wickham (The Waterboys), Actress/Musician, Lisa Lambe with musical accompanist Wayne Sheehy, Meath locals Singer/Song writers, Michael Brunnock and SaraMai Leech, Actress Catherine Byrne (Fair City), Writer Sinead Moriarty, and Lewis Kenny (Poet) 
With no rehearsal and no preview…both artists and audience will experience together, the honest and immediate response to one of Ireland’s most loved short story writers.
Curator of this special event, playwright Deirdre Kinahan stated:
Mary Lavin, to my mind was a quietly subversive and brilliant short story writer with an unflinching insight into the human soul. She had a keen eye for the ordinary, lifting the latch on the screaming passions, conflicting impulses and social barricades that beleaguered Irish life, particularly in her time. There is an electricity in her writing, so I thought what better way to celebrate that than by asking a group of electric contemporary artists to read her stories and write something new out of them.  Steve Wickham, Lisa Lambe are two of my favourite national music makers, along with Lewis Kenny (Poet) and Sinead Moriarty (Writer), while SaraMai Leech, Michael Brunnock and myself bring a particularly Meath sensibility to the night. We look forward to sharing the magic” 

Kinahan’s personal life is echoed in her own section of the night’s performance, where her writings circle around a woman coming out of breast cancer treatment. It is funny, yet brutal in its honesty. This was inspired by Lavin, and informed by Kinahan’s own recent experience in battling cancer.

Commissioned by Meath County Council Arts Office with support from the Arts Council and Creative Ireland. Produced by AOB Arts Management, this event opens at the Courthouse, Kells, Co Meath (January 8 & 9) and transfers to the Dublin Unitarian Church on St Stephen’s Green (January 10).

Mary Josephine Lavin (1912 – 1996) was a major Irish short story writer and novelist whose work stands comparison with Chekhov. She is regarded as a pioneering female author in the traditionally male dominated world of Irish letters. Lavin’s work contains sharp insights into the quiet tragedies and joys of human life and she is considered one of the great artists of the short story in the English language. Mary Lavin’s work received numerous international awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Katherine Mansfield Prize. Many of her stories were first published in the prestigious New Yorker. Joyce Carol Oates called her one of the finest short-story writers of the twentieth century.

‘’I myself at times have had such a feeling of life’s rushing past, that I wanted in my stories to arrest that onrush and examine an instant or a character in the same way that a scientist examines a specimen under a microscope : – when you see the many small inner patterns below the large pattern of a whole life.’’ Mary Lavin



The Courthouse, Kells

8 & 9 January @ 8pm

Doors: 7.30pm

BOOKING: www.takeyourseats.ie

Dublin Unitarian Church

10 January @8pm

Doors: 7.30pm

BOOKING: www.takeyourseats.ie  

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