is an award-winning actor, writer and composer based in Dublin, Ireland. Recent
writing and composition credits include Tonic (Rough Magic Theatre Company), 14
Voices from The Bloodied Field (The Abbey Theatre), Fierce Notions (Dublin Fringe)
the multi-award winning solo show Brendan Galileo for Europe (Show in A Bag;
Edinburgh Fringe). Fionn’s musical adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s celebrated novel
The Giggler Treatment premieres at the Ark this Christmas. Fionn is an alumni
of ITI’s ‘Six in the Attic’ programme and an artist-in-residence at Solstice
What did you do with your Touring Advanced Planning award?
Together with Rough Magic Theatre Company, I toured my doomsday folk musical Tonic to four national venues in March/April of 2023.
What has receiving a 2023 Touring Advanced Planning award meant to you as an artist/for your career?
It has enabled me to continue to make work on an ascending scale of ambition and to take a project I really love and mine its potential as a tourable production. It has allowed me to continue a rewarding creative relationship with Rough Magic and in allowing
me to create a versatile, tourable version of the show, has opened up a number of avenues for the show’s future.
How would you describe your creative process?
I am a writer, composer and performer so I would say there is a certain intensity to the early stages of developing a new project. Usually the themes, style or content of what I’m writing about are something I’ve developed an obsessive interest in
so I will work solitarily for a good while – usually developing book, music and lyrics in tandem rather than in different stages. I don’t use any instruments to write music, that’s usually just when I get to the arrangement stage. Once I feel
like I’ve really set out my stall on a project and written far more than could ever be included in the show, the shot of adrenaline that collaboration with directors/performers bring to the process of taking a new piece off the page.
What is the best piece of advice you received as an emerging artist?
It does sound like a cliché, but the one that rings true for me the most is that the only thing worth getting right is the work itself. It’s incredibly easy to split your focus so much that the work you’re making is almost peripheral to all the
other activity (self-promotion, admin etc.) you end up giving time to. I’d like to think hard work trumps all.
What or who has influenced your practice most?
Thematically, it’s hard not to take influence from the barrage of news and media that we spend hours consuming each day, almost by osmosis. Every so often my attention will snag on something I’ve read – usually something that I find inherently fascinating
and ridiculous in equal parts. I suppose what propels me forward with an idea is if I feel I can understand something more by laughing at it. Nearly everything I’ve produced theatrically has its roots – to some degree – in artists that emerged
from a music hall/vaudville tradition like The Marx Brothers, George Formby, Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin – in particular the satirical edge of the latter artist. I’ve always found that kind of theatre to be far more dangerous than it’s
probably given credit for.
Is there any other information you would like to add which you think would be useful for other artists and organisations?
Resilience is everything. Positivity is sustainable. ‘Don’t fall over the furniture’ etc.