Fly Me To The Moon is the first time Tara Lynne O Neil and Katie Tumelty have worked together since Mistletoe and Crime playing Aileen and Sue, two police officers in the Marie Jones sell out Festive Comedy.
“The experience doesn’t differ that much,” explained Katie. “The only difference is our characters, Frances and Loretta, sit on the wrong side of the law in Fly me to the Moon.”
“Frustrated with the lack of work for actresses, Tara Lynne and I approached Marie Jones, whom we’d worked with several times before, for advice. The cheek of us approaching an award winning, internationally renowned playwright! Our theory, “Ya don’t ask, ya don’t get! Within a week Marie had arranged for the three of us to go to Annamakerrig, a writers retreat in Monaghan.”
Tara Lynne’s Dad and Marie’s Mum were both being cared for by care workers at the time and it was an ever-present conversation throughout the weekend.
“Wine was consumed, yarns were spun, we laughed, we cried and Fly Me to the Moon was born…” said the girls.
“Marie not only wrote the piece for us but she also directed it. We’re a trio who know each others’ heartbeat. Marie is very hands on as a director but also has the added advantage of being acclaimed an actress. So she understands how vulnerable an actor feels when the character is in it’s skeletal state and she aids and assists the “building flesh on the bones” process.
“It’s been an amazing process. We’re sure somewhere it’s written down that you shouldn’t have this much fun at work, but we do!”
The continued: “This is our fourth outing with Fly and we’re still finding new things in it. Every night something new will happen and the three if us will be found in the interval, hovering over the script saying… “That was great, keep that!” or “Go back to how it was… didn’t work”.
“The audience become the biggest character in the room and the response has been phenomenal, with ‘Repeat Flyers’ as we call them having seen the show three and four times.
“Fly Me to the Moon is a universal piece of theatre. It’s Marie Jones doing what Marie Jones does best, she creates real characters who audiences all over the world connect and identify with. Many different sell-out productions of Fly Me to the Moon have been performed in Iceland, Sweden and Canada. This production, the original, has been all over Ireland and New York.”
Fly Me to the Moon runs until Saturday August 22 at The Lyric Theatre, Belfast, The Market Place Theatre, Armagh August 28 and 29, The Gaiety, Dublin September 2 – 19. Next stop for the comedic trident is Christmas Eve Can Kill You – Directed by and starring Dan Gordon another member of the Marie Jones clan.