Neptune Calling

Neptune Calling

Thursday, 26 August 2021, 12.30pm

Red Bear Productions

by Eoghan Quinn

Locations near - Axis Theatre: 21 – 27 August / Draíocht: 26 Aug – 1 Sep / Civic Theatre: 6 – 12 September



Red Bear’s new production is an enthralling live theatre installation that brings the energy of the Irish Sea to audiences, in the most unlikely of places. This August and September with the help of Axis Theatre, Ballymun; Civic Theatre, Tallaght; and Draíocht, Blanchardstown, NEPTUNE CALLING will perform at 18 different outdoor locations in the greater Dublin area.

The show, directed by Tracy Martin (shortlisted for the Stewart Parker Trust Major Bursary in 2015 and nominated for the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play in 2019) - is a mixture of sensory experiences, paralleled with a beautiful script by Eoghan Quinn, (Stewart Parker Award nominee and recipient of the Irish Arts Council’s ‘Next Generation’ Award in 2019). The voices of the show will be Aoibhéann McCann (Best Actress, Irish Times Theatre Award 2020) and Geraldine Plunkett (best known for her role as Mary McDermott from the much loved RTE TV series, Glenroe) and a choreographed movement piece will be performed by dancer Robyn Byrne.

Quinn introduces us Sara, who like the rest of us, has had a tough year too. The one thing that’s gotten her through, is her daily dip in the Irish sea. It cleanses her soul, enlightens her spirit and focuses her mind. And what she’s decided to focus her mind on is her career as a fledgling journalist, and specifically on an article she’s been commissioned to write about ‘conspiracy theories’. Through her research, she meets Helen, a retired music teacher who now barely leaves her home, and is so obsessed with online misinformation.

Through hours of phone calls and interviews the two women eventually become close. However, all the time Sara is questioning Helen’s sanity – she herself starts to hear voices. A voice from the sea, calling her name and she can’t refuse it’s pull.

The mechanics of this new site specific production:

The NEPTUNE CALLING audience will arrive on site to be seated deck chairs and given headphones through which they will hear waves crash, seagulls holler and swimmers greet one another. As the performance starts the sound focuses in on Sara; her thoughts and the conversations she has with herself, Helen and most importantly – the sea.

In front of the audience is a beautiful 5ft high platform covered in mirror tiles, reflecting and changing with the sky above. It seems to hover on the grass. Attached on one side is an iron ladder up which the audience then watches Sara, played by contemporary dancer Robyn Byrne, climb. As we listen to her innermost thoughts we watch her battle with the pull of the water.

CAST: Aoibhéann McCann (Voice) / Geraldine Plunkett (Voice) / Robyn Byrne (dance)

Writer: Eoghan Quinn

Director: Tracy Martin

Set Design: Maree Kearns

Composer & Sound Design: Philip Stewart

Lighting Design: Kevin Smith

Sound Design: Andy Walsh

Red Bear was formed by Tracy Martin in 2012, to create contemporary theatre that strives to tell unique stories of the human experience. With artistic excellence at the core of the approach to these stories Red Bear's aim is to tour theatre that will thrill audiences. Red Bear has had sell out successes with Danny and Chantelle (still here) by Phillip McMahon, PARANOID?, The Wave and WRAPPED all written and directed by Tracy Martin. In 2014 Aoibhéann McCann came on board as Associate Artist and Producer.

Winner of the Little Gem Award 2019, Winner of Silver at the IMRO Awards (2017) and at New York Festivals Awards (2017) for HARDER FASTER MORE radio play and nominated for Prix Europa (2018) for WRAPPEDradio play. Nominated for the Fishamble New Writing Award for COAST (2016), the First Fortnight Award for COAST (2016), the Stewart Parker Award for WRAPPED (2015) and the Fishamble New Writing Award for HARDER FASTER MORE (2015).

Eoghan Quinn is a writer and performer from Dublin. He was a founding member of Collapsing Horse Theatre. He holds a PhD in English from NYU, where he was a MacCracken Fellow from 2013-2019. His play The Water Orchard was shortlisted for the Stewart Parker Trust Major Bursary in 2017. He is currently a participant in Six in the Attic, an Irish Theatre Institute initiative.

Aoibhéann McCann is one of the country’s most accomplished young actors. She won Best Actress at the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020 for her performance as Blanche DuBois in the Lyric Theatre's production of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. She was among the cast of Rough Magic's production of A Midsummer's Night Dream who won the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Ensemble 2019.

She also has a robust television & film CV, featuring in Vikings (MGM), Redemption (ITV), Three Families (BBC), to name but a few. Aoibhéann is a busy voice actor.

Geraldine Plunkett began her career with the Abbey Theatre, where she was a member of the company from 1961 – 1966. During her time at the Abbey some of her favourite roles were Gwendolen in ‘THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST and Solange in ‘The MAIDS’.

Over the years, her performances have included (to name a few) Tom Murphy’s Famine, Mrs Brown in DOWN ALL THE DAYS, Mrs. Meehan in TORCHLIGHT AND LASERBEAMS, Mother Mercy in CHILDREN OF THE EVE, Mother Ruth in AGNES OF GOD, Aurelia Platt in LETTERS HOME and Una in The FACTORY GIRLSby Frank McGuinness. She has played Juno in the Gate Theatre’s production of JUNO AND THE PAYCOCKat the Olympia Theatre and in Edinburgh, Jerusalem and Broadway.

Geraldine has performed in many Television and Radio plays but is perhaps best known as Mary McDermott-Moran in ‘GLENROE’. Geraldine played Mrs. Fleming in the T.V. series ‘THE CLINIC’, Annette in the film ‘INSATIABLE’, Maggie in the film ‘8.5 HOURS’, Maura in the T.V. series ‘TRIVIA’, Ann in the TV series ‘NO OFFENCE’ and currently Rose O’Brien in the ‘FAIR CITY’.

Awards: Best Supporting Actress Nomination for The Afters – Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020

Robyn Byrne is a contemporary dancer, maker and teacher based in the Midlands.

She holds a First Class Hons, BPA Degree from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (UK) and was awarded the Carolyn Woolridge Outstanding Performer of the Year. She continued studying at NSCD obtaining her Postgraduate Diploma in 2015.

She joined Verve dance company touring works by Theo Clinkard, Kerry Nicholls and Luca Silvestrini(Protein Dance) throughout the UK/Europe. Since graduating Robyn has worked with Plan B Dance (Scotland),Emma Martin/United Fall, Irish National Opera, Jamaal Burkmar Dance/Extended Play (UK), Iseli-Chiodi Dance Company and Jessica Dessner.


AXIS, Ballymun
Saturday 21 - Friday 27 August | FREE event
Axis Box Office - Tel: 01 883 2100 /

DRAÍOCHT, Blanchardstown
Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 August & Monday 30 August - Wednesday 1 September | FREE event
Draiocht Box Office - Tel: 01 885 2622 /

Monday 6 - Sunday 12 September | FREE event
Civic Box Office - Tel: 01 462 7477 /

Stay tuned to the venues Social Media and Websites for the list of partner venues and ticket opportunities and times of the events

Running time – 50 mins
Audience Capacity - 18

@ axisballymun / @DraiochtBlanch / @civictheatretallaght / @redbearproductions

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