Féilim James’ poem ‘Pandemic’ was performed in the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin, on 27 October 2017. This formed part of Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company‘s Youth Arts Ensemble performance of Flaming Inspirations. This devised piece used Bertolt Brecht’s adaptation of Antigone as a catalyst to explore equality in Ireland’s past, present and future.
The original multi-disciplinary performance incorporated theatre, spoken word, poetry, movement and film to explore feminism and gender equality, and raise questions of how far we have gone and how far we will go for what we believe in. A collage of encounters took place with a focus on issues facing Irish women both past and present. The ensemble created characters ranging from the female hunger strikers of Armagh prison to women fighting for bodily autonomy in Ireland today.
Féilim’s poem ‘Pandemic’ was presented via a voice recording of the poet reading his poem, alongside a movement piece by the cast of actors. The poem explores lad culture and rape culture in the contemporary world, and suggests how the sexualisation and objectification of women by men, combined with the common competitiveness between men towards sexual relations, all contribute to the occurrence of rape.
The performance as a whole opened a discussion for the audience on where we are today in relation to equality and what are we doing to challenge this position. The performance was thus followed by an engaging post-show discussion with members of Smashing Times Youth Arts Ensemble and guest professional artists.
Féilim spoke extensively about his poem in the post-show discussion, answering questions and receiving a number of positive comments on his work. The performance was kindly sponsored by The Arts Council Young Ensemble Scheme. For more information on Smashing Times Youth Arts Ensemble or Flaming Inspirations, click here.