Written and directed by Aisling Smith, and performed by Laura Whelan, OCD Me is an autobiographical one-woman play showcasing the realities of one person’s experience of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Havig played Edinburgh ringe to antastic houses and reviews it runs 12 – 14 Jan in The Civic Studio.
We had a chat with the Creator / Writer/Director Aisling Smith.
Can you tell us a bit about your background, where did you grow up?
I’m from Carrickmines in Dublin, born and bred. But my mum is from Co. Clare and my dad was from Cavan, so I had a bit of a country upbringing. I’m from a big family – I am the youngest of 11 children, and have 17 nieces and nephews, so I like big crowds and lots of chat.
Tell us about your arts background & Just Friends Theatre Collective?
I’ve always been into literature and the Arts. My sister-in-law brought me to my first play when I was 10 and I wanted to be an actress as a child. When I went to college in UCD I got really involved in the drama society, Dramsoc. I wrote, acted, directed, and was their props costumes and make-up manager for a year. It was then I decided I wanted to make a career of writing and directing so I went to London to do an MA in Text and Performance in RADA, and a few years ago I completed a PhD focused on directing the plays of George Bernard Shaw in NUI Galway. I started Just Friends Theatre Collective at the beginning of my theatre career in 2013. Our first production was a play I wrote and directed called Tir na nÓg; a contemporary retelling of the old Irish myth. As a writer/director I strive to create socially engaged work that is entertaining and challenges perceptions.
What can Tallaght audiences expect from OCD Me?
OCD Me is based on my own experiences with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, so you can expect an honest and personal insight into the condition and a few laughs too. Laura Whelan does a fantastic job in the role of Sarah, so you can look forward to some top notch acting and dancing!
Tell us a random fact about yourself?
I am a massive cat person. I currently have one cat called Scraggles, who is objectively the coolest cat in the world.
What’s next for you?
We are bringing OCD Me to a number of venues in 2023, first in Dublin and then hopefully further afield around Ireland. Alongside the productions we plan to do companion workshops for secondary schools. I am also working on an Arts Council funded project, adapting female written Irish ghost stories into one Act plays for 11-13 year olds.
“Laura Whelan’s solo performance is gripping and physically taut, but also warm and humorous.”
“it’s difficult to imagine a more evocative aid in understanding a debilitating condition whose name and symptoms are often taken lightly and in vain.” The Scotsman ★★★★