My name is Ronan Tully, I am a third generation of Puppeteers. I still find it strange to say that, but that’s what I am.
Growing up in a strange family can affect you. Mine more than most. Being part of 3 generations of performers and starting to perform on stage at an early age shapes the way you think, not just the performing but also working with up to ten members of your family at the same time, all with their own feelings, emotions, motivations.
It was only as I got older I realized how connected with the history of my art form this life was. For hundreds of years across the globe, family troupes, like mine have been touring with small portable theatres. A different town each week, playing in marquees, needing to work together to mount the show and make it happen, despite what’s going on in the ‘personal’ aspect of family life and how this can spill into the show itself.
Circo Islu was born from the idea of preserving an old way of life and history, not recreating it like those guys who re-enact battles in costume, but to make a piece of theatre about theatre. One in which the man on the street becomes part of just by walking past, even if they are too scared to come inside.
Circo Islu is my own Gypsy journey. It is the journey of my puppet ancestors. It is a journey of creating a theatre, learning the basic skills of carving and designing puppets to do tricks like my puppeteer ancestors. But it was a physical journey too. It started in Dublin, on a piece of paper, luckily it received some generous assistance along the way; then coming to fruition in an old factory in Barcelona filled with diverse artists from around the world.
Now it has been finished in a little stone barn in the heart of the Catalan oak forests.
The show is about all those Irish people with dreams who travel to new cultures and integrate. But it is also about the thrill of the circus, the pomp and the ceremony. It is about “the show must go on”
Now after 2 years of learning, thinking, developing and over 2000 man-hours and €35,000 later, this show is coming to Ireland. I have a theatre with 25 seats, I have a company of strange and diverse people whose cultures and languages mingle, I have a cast of hand carved traditional actors and most importantly we have a story to tell. One to make you laugh and one to make you cry, a thrill and a passion. We are excited. But here’s the rub, we have a shortfall of about €2000. I need your help to cover the cost of transporting Circo Islu from Spain to Ireland.
The wonderful rewards include tickets to a VIP show in Dunlaoghaire on the 25th of August thanks to Dunlaoghaire Rathdown County Council.
Help me to bring Circo Islu home.