StageMad Presents “The Afters” By Nicola Spendlove

Stagemad Theatre Company will present “The Afters” as part of the Imagine Arts Festival at St Patrick’s Gateway from Monday, October 22nd to Wednesday, October 24th at 8pm (€10).
The play is a mourning and a celebration of the invisible lines that make up human life, told through five interlinking true monologues.
“I’m an awful woman for fronting,” said Nicola. “I have a very clear idea in my head of how I want people to perceive me. I want to be positive, outgoing, personable and funny. I don’t want people to see my off days, my quiet side or my vulnerability. I try to live a life comparable to an Instagram profile – I give people snapshots of myself at my best moments, with a generous filter thrown in for good measure, and leave my less desirable angles undocumented. The unfortunate side effect of this is, there aren’t many people who truly know me. And that is sad. I don’t believe I am alone in this. In fact, I think I am the rule rather than the exception.”
Nicola said she has true admiration for people who “let their mask slide, who let others in on their unfiltered selves, who risk ridicule and rejection for the sake of honesty. I believe that vulnerability is the most beautiful thing a person can show you, and I feel honoured when I experience it. When someone breaks down in your arms and tells you something deeply personal, be it a family member or a stranger in the bathroom queue in a nightclub, God is there ever a moment you love them more? I feel those moments of raw humanity in the depths of my gut, and they stick vividly in my memory.”

She added: “A year ago, I began contacting some of the people that generously gave me those moments of vulnerability. I wanted to honour them by putting their stories, anonymously, into a theatre piece. I wanted the public to have a chance to feel that gut feeling that they gave me, to take on their pain and experience it viscerally for a few moments in the safety of an auditorium. And so The Afters was born, its parents five real people whose identities I will take to my grave, and me the midwife delivering it through a pen.”
Nicola has hailed ‘The Afters’ as a “piece of magic”. She said: “I credit the five brave humans who were willing to let us give their stories away as gifts, and bring the public on a journey with us using their honesty as a vehicle.

The aim of the piece was to start a conversation. I believe the conversation has started, and I am desperate for it to continue. Let us share ourselves – it is not healthy to carry the pain we have all experienced as humans alone. We aren’t made to be Instagram profiles. We’re made to be people. So share your story, whether it’s with a friend, a counsellor, or if needs must a sympathetic stranger in the toilet queue. You never know what strength you are giving them through your honesty. So on that note, I raise a toast to vulnerability: may we celebrate it, may we strive for it.”

Tickets are on sale now or via 051-843589.

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