26 Jun 2022

The Gate Truck comes to Longford's Backstage Theatre

The Gate Truck comes to Longford's Backstage Theatre

The world premiere of In MiddleTown, created by and performed by Mikel Murfi, will visit Longford, in partnership with the Backstage Theatre, as it tours across Ireland in the brand new Gate Truck this summer.

Acclaimed theatre-maker Mikel Murfi was commissioned by the Gate Theatre in 2020 to create an original piece that would work with ongoing restrictions, and the result is a magical new show for the times we live in. With the emphasis on an ‘outdoor’ summer, the Gate was determined to find a way to mount an accessible and dynamic production for summer 2021.

When asked about bringing the show to Longford, Mikel Murfi said, “Oh God, I love Longford… Slashers! One of the greatest on-tour venues out there. Great staff and cheesus tonight the legendary sandwiches… not hinting or anything but it’s just the attention and fun that goes with playing The Backstage that makes it one of those places I love to perform in.

“We’ll be off-site this time but I’m really looking forward to bringing a new show to old friends .”

Over the past year, the Gate has explored new ways to present engaging theatre to audiences across the country. The Gate Truck is a large vehicle, kindly supported by DAF Ireland, with a full-scale production staged and stored on its flatbed.

This will allow the Gate and its partners to bring communities together in towns across Ireland. The production will partner with a number of local cultural venues, theatres and arts centres.

Touring is an important part of the Gate’s mission. The theatre’s founders brought their productions across Ireland and around the world to great acclaim, and in more recent years, Gate productions made their mark through significant national and international tours.

The production centres on a quiet man, in the middle of his life, living in the middle of a small town. He is a furniture removals man, with a very nice truck. One day, he does something unusual. He packs his 'life' (and his bees) onto the back of his truck, pulls the door behind him, and never looks back.

The truck becomes his world, bringing him to places he thought he would never see. The play is a timely and gentle reflection of 'living in the middle', and the ongoing search for solitude, simplicity, and the things that make us truly happy.

Created and performed by Mikel Murfi, the writer and performer of The Man In The Woman's Shoes and I Hear You and Rejoice, this comedic and transformative live performance piece features the work of a multi-award winning design team.

In Middletown comes to Backstage Theatre on Tuesday, August 10. Shows will be held in an outdoor space in close proximity to the venue. Tickets are available from €20. Audience is limited to 100 tickets per show, under current guidelines.

The tour will operate with a reduced, Covid-compliant team, including a driver, the performer, and a small technical crew.

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