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Local Director Claims Prestigious Student Award

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Recently Carrigaline’s Aideen Fox made headlines after she was crowned ‘Best Director’ at the Irish Student Drama Awards, which were held in Belfast last month.

Aideen has always been a very artistic person and was regularly involved with music and drama during her years in Carrigaline Community School. The 21 year-old has continued her passion for the ‘showbiz’ life in University College Cork, where she is now in her final year of her under-graduate degree in Philosophy and Drama.

‘Disco Pigs’ is the second play Aideen has directed, having already had major success with her debut production. After winning the best director award in Cork for her first play; The Children’s Hour, Aideen wanted to follow up on this with a play she felt very strongly about. 

Disco Pigs is an energetic, visceral, Cork-based play, which focuses on youth disenfranchisement and drug culture associated with the 90’s. Aideen felt passionately to do a modern-day twist on the play, which was originally written and adapted into a play by Enda Walsh in 1996, as she feels that many of the problems faced then are re-surfacing today. This was a key reason as to why Aideen decided to make the soundtrack predominantly techno based, as she believes that this is a genre of music that has also made a huge comeback after its heyday in the 90’s.

According to Aideen, what made both of her actors’ performances so special was that they understood completely and personally what the play was about. Whilst many productions of Disco Pigs have been put on around the world, the presence of a creative team from Cork greatly added to the authenticity.

Born and bred in Carrigaline, Aideen and her actors; Niamh Santry (RUNT) and Arann Blake (PIG), particularly had a very sincere connection to the play. All the place names and descriptions of Cork in Walsh’s writing ignited memories of their youth that they could draw on to create the world of PIG and RUNT. The team put their own spin on Disco Pigs which had a contemporary twist whilst still staying true to the retro aesthetic of the 90s.

The team were delighted to hear that following their first run of the play in Cork that they would be putting on the play once again in Belfast, representing UCC in the ISDA’s (Irish Student Drama Awards). ISDA is an annual festival organised by and for students from Universities around Ireland to celebrate and recognise the best student theatre in the country. The timeless nature of the play was once again shown in the great reaction they received from the audience in Belfast and the judges. 

In the end, Disco Pigs was nominated for five awards and won Best Director for Aideen, Best Lead Actress for Niamh and Best Overall Production. But for Aideen, the real enjoyment came from working once again with a creative team that she is proud to call her friends. Speaking to The Carrigdhoun following the aftermath of receiving the award Aideen said,

“Working on Disco Pigs was invaluable to me in terms of practical experience and personal fulfilment. I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with such amazing people”

Congratulations to Aideen and all her crew from everyone at The Carrigdhoun. Next stop, Broadway!

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