Mermaids second OTR production, The Cripple of Inishmaan, follows the excitement that grips a 1930s rural Irish community when a Hollywood film crew arrives with an interest in them. In this interview, the show’s director, Isi Webb-Jenkins, tells us more about the show’s rehearsal period.


What makes this event unique?

This show combines incredible humour, an eye-catching set and live music to create a production which is unlike the usual in St Andrews. The cast are very talented, and there have been lots of great people involved to make the show fantastic.


Why did you choose your venue?

The Stage offers a great opportunity to use different types of lighting and sound, and it is a good stepping-stone for budding directors like me who would like to use a big space but are not ready for the professionalism of the Byre.


 Share a hilarious backstage/behind the scenes story.

One of the most memorable moments was when Sophia brought her bearded dragon Yakul to rehearsals because at first, no one noticed him wrapped in her scarf. Then, once we had noticed him and the shock had died down, he continued to crawl around our rural Irish set, which was quite the oxymoron.


What was the inspiration behind putting on this event/show?

The fabulous script was a real driving force, because the writing is iconic in its own right and is different to what is usually seen in St Andrews. The production team also wanted to challenge themselves and see how great this production could be, which has led to it being a great task, and hopefully a spectacular show.


 What should people be looking for?

People should come expecting to be absolutely appalled at some the dialogue in the show, but crying with laughter at the same time. McDonagh challenges what is acceptable to say, and brings out humour in conventionally dark topics. People can also look out for our amazing live musicians from Folk and Trad society, and real life lobster pots!


What challenges have you faced?

Organising such a big task has been our greatest challenge, and our logistical abilities have been pushed to the limit. We’ve got a lot better at being persistent in our messages, and also learning to not sweat the small stuff.


What three words best sum up your show?

Outrageous, morbid, human.

The Cripple of Inishmaan will be performed at The StAge on 13th April at 7.30 and 14th April at 2.00

Carla van der Sluijs