Geoff Gould is the Artistic Director and founder of Blood in the Alley Theatre Company and The West Cork Fit-up Theatre Festival. Originally from North Cork Geoff Gould is a L.A.M.D.A graduate. During his time at L.A.M.D.A Geoff taught, directed and founded Blood in the Alley Theatre Company with Playwright Micheal Lovett and Lighting Designer Elizabeth Powell. Between 1996 and 2001 Geoff was the artistic director of the Everyman Palace, Cork.

We chatted to Geoff in advance of his show, The Lonesome West, coming to The Civic on 15th September.

What do you enjoy most about your career?
Working with actors and playwrights. Although incredibly talented and underrated, even by many people in the business, they continue to strive to achieve the magic of theatre.

Who were the biggest inspirations for your career?
Donal ‘O Kelly’s ‘Catalpa’, Brian Friel, The Druid, Martin Lucey, Joan Sheehy, Denis Conway and Pat Kinevane.

What is your favourite part of the process of directing?
The rehearsal room process when it’s electric and thankfully that’s most of the time.

What do you look for in an actor you’re considering casting in one of your plays?
The ability to ‘play’ rather than ‘perform’ the character. Many actors don’t understand the difference.

How did the Blood in the Alley production of The Lonesome West come about?
Having seen Druid’s incredible original production five times in the Everyman in 1997 with the brilliant Brian F O’Byrne and Maeliosa Stafford I always felt, as egotistical directors do, that they’re was more to be mined from the script. Martin Lucey and Denis Foley are two actors I admire very much and even though they had never worked together I thought they would be ideal as the brothers.

What are some of the surprises or challenges that have arisen in directing The Lonesome West, if any?
It’s a technical nightmare for a small company on a limited budget. Four hundred cast statues and a collapsing oven…our company manager Jessica is a genius and spent weeks making them.

What kind of experience will audiences have when they come to The Civic to see The Lonesome West ?
Firstly they will be entertained as it is wonderfully comic and secondly I hope they will emerge with a certain empathy for the characters. Audiences in Cork loved the mad cap bonkers journey that McDonagh takes them on.

Is there another Martin McDonagh work that you would love to direct in the future? I’m not a lover of The Beauty Queen of Leenane but I’d love a crack off The Lieutenant of Inishmore and I was lucky enough to see the Cripple in Newfoundland and was very taken with the beauty and madness of it. So that’s on the list also.

The Lonesome West opens at The Civic on Tuesday, 15th September 2015 at The Civic. Tickets are €20 & €16 concession and are on sale from our box office – 01 4627477 or online here.