21 August 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Throughout the years, Corcadorca has pioneered the art of theatre performance in unusual venues and has carved out a unique place for itself in Irish theatre. Last June/July Corcadorca staged ‘Sacrifice at Easter’ at Elizabeth Fort on Barrack Street as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival. Written in response to the 1916 centenary, ‘Sacrifice at Easter’ is a creative collaboration between Pat Kiernan, renowned composer Mel Mercier and Pat McCabe who wrote ‘Breakfast on Pluto’ and ‘The Butcher Boy’.
Pat Kiernan has directed over 30 productions for Corcadorca, using all the theatres in Cork City as well as many non-theatre venues such as Sir Henry’s (‘A Clockwork Orange’) and Cork City Gaol (‘A Christmas Carol’). Other outdoor productions include ‘The Trial of Jesus’ on Patrick’s Hill and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Fitzgerald’s Park.
Pat famously directed the multi-award winning ‘Disco Pigs’ back in 1996 which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. For that production, Pat discovered and introduced great acting talents such as film star Cillian Murphy and Eileen Walsh to the world. Cillian Murphy, star of many blockbuster films like Batman, Inception, The Wind that Shakes the Barley and current TV series Peaky Blinders said “Pat had come to do a workshop at my school. Then I went to see his ‘A Clockwork Orange’ at Sir Henry’s and that had a really big affect on me. Everybody knows ‘Disco Pigs’ changed everything for me.”
Pat gave Eileen Walsh from Cork her big break on ‘Disco Pigs’ too, and Eileen recently played the Opera House in ‘The Plough and the Stars’. She is also known for her work in film and TV, including ‘The Magdalene Sisters’ and ‘Pure Mule’.
Pat Kiernan agrees that Disco Pigs put Corcadorca on the map, nationally and internationally, “but my ambition was always to have the company in Cork,” he has said.
Five years ago, Pat Kiernan helped establish the Theatre Development Centre at the Triskel Arts Centre as a studio space dedicated to the development of professional theatre. Corcadorca makes this space available to theatre makers free of charge as a supportive environment where they can write and work with actors to create work for the stage.
Pat’s name now goes forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch on Jan 20th next, at Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork.