Journalism, Theatre

Award-winning playwright to take Listowel by storm (The Kerryman)

CAHERSIVEEN playwright Amy Conroy is to shortly take to the stage at Listowel Writers’ Week for her explosive play I heart Alice heart I.

The documentary-style show, now in its third year, tells the love story of two women named Alice. Starring Clare Barrett and Amy in the title roles, the latter is clearly delighted with the reception they’ve received. “It’s for everyone and about everyone. It really resonates with the Irish,” she reveals. “What really makes me proud is that it feels like your story. It’s very personal.”

As the leading actress, director and author of the play, 30-year-old Amy is looking forward to bringing her play back to her home county, particularly as she’s never been to Writers’ Week before. “I’ve heard amazing things about it and what a pleasure to go with my own show,” she says. “I’m really looking forward to having a Kerry audience.”

As Artistic Director of HotForTheatre, which she founded in 2010, her acting and writing talent has taken her all over the world. She tells The Kerryman that if she’d thought about establishing the theatre company in an economic crisis any longer, she probably wouldn’t have gone through with it. “There’s a lot to be said for blind ignorance!” she laughs. She advises upcoming playwrights to “work hard, stick at it and never think you know what you’re doing.”

The Inchicore College Theatre graduate won the World Gold Medal at the New York Festival Awards in 2006 for her play, 27. Her first radio play, Hold This, was broadcast by RTÉ Radio One in September 2010.

Amy won the Fishamble Award for New Writing at the 2010 Dublin Fringe Festival. She has taken part in the Abbey Theatre’s New Playwrights Programme. She starred as Gina Devine in her own play, Eternal Rising of the Sun, at the 2011 Dublin Fringe Festival, which earned her Best Actress at the Irish Times Theatre Awards that year.

She is currently participating in Six in the Attic scheme, run by the Irish Theatre Institute, providing theatre artists and companies with the space, resources and mentoring to produce top-quality work. She is also working hard with the HotForTheatre team to premiere their third show, Break, this September.

This follows her success at Electric Picnic Festival, the Irish Arts Centre in New York, the LOKÁL Festival in Iceland, and the Glasgay Festival in Scotland. She recently took I heart Alice heart I Down Under, performing at the World Theatre Festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse in Australia, the Auckland Arts Festival in New Zealand, and Ten Days on the Island Festival in Tasmania.

Listowel will welcome I heart Alice heart I to Writers’ Week on May 31, at St John’s Theatre at 8.30pm, as part of HotForTheatre’s national tour. Tickets are available for €15 on 068 21074 or at

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