RTE Television

Fíbín - Sétanta in the City

Monday 16 January at 7.30pm on RTÉ One

5 actors, 50 characters, suicide bombing, live wrestling and sex - this is the story of a lusty, time-travelling, violent, sex-mad Cú Chulainn as you've never seen it before.

'Sétanta' is a play written and directed by Paul Mercier which was produced and performed by the Fíbín Puppet and Theatre Company in early December. Fíbín are a small Gaeltacht-based company founded in 2003 by Darach Ó Tuairisg and Mícheál Ó Domhnaill. To date they have had 20 productions, most of which feature the extensive use of puppets.

Their latest play 'Sétanta' is different. It features five actors (three men and two women) but it contains 10 times as many characters. This is achieved through the clever use of nearly fifty masks that were specially commissioned for this play. Each of the actors had a cast made of their face and this in turn was used to make perfectly fitting personalised masks of the charaters they would each be playing. The play is technically multi-layered, featuring a dense mixture of sound effects, lighting, and a pulsating sound-track which drives the moving images projected onto a back screen which parallels the action on stage.

RTÉ were given exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Fíbín as they rehearsed their new play 'Sétanta' in a converted Nineteenth Century school in Connemara. Our cameras get up close and personal with the actors, producers and technicians as they work tirelessly to perfect Director Paul Mercier's vision. We also follow Fíbín to the Peacock Theatre in Dublin where they premiered Sétanta to a full house which included newly elected President Michael D. Higgins.

This programme offers a real insight into life behind the scenes in a hard-working Irish theatre company. After all of the creative tension involved in its creation as an on-stage drama, 'Sétanta' was a huge success and sold out the Peacock Theatre in early December.

In the meantime, Fíbín have received numerous offers from home and abroad to perform 'Sétanta' again. As the producer and co-founder of Fíbín says, they now hope for world domination!!! Cú Chulainn would be rightly proud!

Presenter / Reporter Garry Mac Donncha
Producer / Director Seán Ó Méalóid

Fibin - Setanta in the City
  • Monday 16 January 2012, RTÉ One, 7.30pm