Interview with Andy Gallagher for “In Search of Spring”
The Festival of New Work in Smock Alley takes place this February
February 16th and 17th at 8pm, "In Search of the Spring", written and directed by Andy Gallagher will be playing at the Smock Alley Theatre.
"In Search of the Spring" encompasses "Classic story-telling, bawdy humor and high fantasy combine to examine some home truths about growth and healing. In Search of The Spring is an allegorical tale informed by the belief that no one is too old for an aul' bedtime story."
When I read the description of the play I immediately thought of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", what or who inspired you to write this play? "Funny enough, I didn’t even think of it as a conscious influence, but I was working as assistant director of a production of MSND at about the same time that I wrote "In Search of the Spring" so you must have picked up on something that I wasn't even conscious of. Because "In Search of the Spring" is a woodland tale and has fairytale elements, there's also stuff about potions and mystical curses, it's all a bit alchemic," Gallagher said.
Online it is described as a fairytale for "kidults" how do the characters and the plot appeal to both kids and adults alike? "I was a little bit worried about a fairytale for kidults in the sense that it's definitely not for kids. It's more for people who are adults on paper, but still for all matter of reasons are still a little bit caught in arrested development childhood space, which I think is a very common condition of people in my generation, and I'm definitely not exempt of that. So it's this ideal of kidulthood and of people being a little bit stuck. And the reason I went with the fairytale form is because of the same reason we tell children fairytales, which is to offer guidance and these allegories to help navigate the big bad world. A lot of people in my generation are at the stage where we need something like that, we need a little something to show us the way," Gallagher said.
What is the allegory in this play? "So the three main characters are all looking for a solution to various problems. Gilbert is a selfish, greedy boy with an itch, so basically he's a young man suffering from a STI. Bianca is a drunk and a musical genius (in that order). Dido is the latest victim of the “Happily Ever After” trap; she has been jilted on her wedding day so she is suffering from a broken heart. All three of them learn of this magical cure which is lurking in the forest, it is the waters of this spring that is supposed to have magical healing properties. These three characters have complex problems that they all want an instantaneous cure for, and for me that's the allegory of the play. And my generation has become so accustomed to instant gratification because we are so accustomed to the technological age, it leaves you so ill-equipped to deal with more complex chapters in life," Gallagher said.
Who was your favorite character to write? "I don't have one because there's probably a little facet of myself in Gilbert, Bianca, and Dido. In my experience in writing thus far I find that you grow to love all of your characters equally," Gallagher said.
In Search Of The Spring in Andy Gallagher's directorial debut. He has written one other play, Sex, Drugs & Tinned Ravioli which was staged in Theatre Upstairs in 2014. Tickets for "In Search of the Spring" are on sale now.