WitchWork officially launched on Friday 31st August in The Liquor Rooms! We were delighted to celebrate the beginning of our new company surrounded by friends, family and colleagues.
We asked Eleanor Methven - an activist, artist and woman we all greatly admire - to officially launch WitchWork. Eleanor is co-founder of the groundbreaking and award winning Charabanc Theatre Company, which changed the landscape of Irish theatre for women theatre makers. She most recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Irish Times Theatre Awards to add to the multitude of accolades she has gathered over a hugely successful career and continues to be a powerful voice in art and politics, championing women’s voices, solidarity through art and exceptional standards in theatre.
It was an absolute honour to have her launch our company, and to say the following exceptionally kind words about the artists behind it:
‘I am absolutely delighted and honoured and flattered to be asked to launch WitchWork. Katie and Clara I’ve known for some years and they come from exceptional stock, and yet they are entirely their own women. I’ve had the great pleasure of witnessing their commitment, their artistic intuition, their administrative ability and applied political intelligence in our mutual involvement with PalFest, and in their individual projects, and anything they apply themselves to is carried out with a consummate grace and concern for others that they bring to everything in their lives. Two more impressive young women I have yet to meet.
Jane, I am getting the pleasure of getting to know, but I also had the pleasure of watching her play, The Harvest, in The New Theatre some months ago, before any of this was mooted. And I thought that not only in its integrity of theme and its intelligent character exploration, but also in its structure - which was tight and beautifully drawn - I was aware of hearing a really interesting new voice. Many people have good stories to tell, but the mark of a dramatist is that understanding of structure married with content that Jane McCarthy displays in spades. I look forward immensely to her new work.
I know why I was asked [to launch WitchWork], it was because of Charabanc. When I and my colleagues began that first alarum-cum-headbutt of an Irish Women's theatre company, Charabanc, many, many years ago, while our aims chimed very, very much with those of WitchWork, I was much less experienced than these three are now. I grew in understanding and skill as the company grew. And with these three, in their individual strength of character and their disparate but complimentary skills, and with their collective experience, Clara, Jane and Katie have an apt balance - it seems to me - absolutely have the potential to achieve their goal of delivering work that is exciting, urgent and dynamic. And in doing that they merit our faith and they deserve our support. I am so very happy to be here in solidarity with their aims. I wish them all the best in the world.’
A huge thanks to Eleanor for such a beautiful and generous speech! We were blown away by your wonderful words and kind support.