Friday 7 October 2011

The Country Girls Crew Profile 5 - Ben Hennessey Set Designer

Ben is a Founder Member and Artistic Director of Red Kettle. He works as a director, designer, writer and painter.
Most recently, Ben directed and designed Martin Sherman’s Rose which played at the Grahamstown Arts Festival in South Africa, wrote and designed The Girl That Turned into a Deer for Little Red Kettle and worked as a painter on Animated State Dance Theatre’s production of Crossing, all in 2011.
Other recent work directing and designing includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a circus tent, Romeo and Juliet at Garter Lane, Climb (with Eoin Lynch), and Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban, also in a Big Top. Ben directed Happy like a Fool by Paul O Brien (in 2010) and Boy Soldier (touring production) in 2008.
Ben has designed over fifty shows for Red Kettle including the world première of Catalpa by Donal O Kelly, Kings of the Kilburn Highroad and The Castlecomer Jukebox, both by Jimmy Murphy, The Salvage Shop and Moonshine, both by Jim Nolan, Happy Birthday Dear Alice and Forty Four Sycamore, both by Bernard Farrell and The Stomping Ground and The Queen and Peacock, both by Loughlin Deegan.
Ben has also designed shows for Siamsa Tíre, Corca Dorca, Meridian, Archlainn de Hide, Team and many Musical Theatre companies, including Sweeney Todd for Bowler Hat. Recent designs include Tearmann for Siamsa Tíre, I, Keano for Lane Productions and Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart for Animated State Dance Theatre Company.
He has written thirteen plays for children, many of them with Liam Meagher including The Four Euclids of Squid and the Festival of Imagination and Wild Fancy which represented Ireland at the World Festival of Children’s Theatre in Toyama, Japan. Other recent children’s plays include Time Quest, There Might be Zombies, A Big Loada Stuff and The Alizar Tree.
Ben also wrote and designed Boy Soldier for Red Kettle which toured Ireland in 2008 and, also in 2008, co-wrote Climb with Eoin Lynch.
Ben also wrote the book and Libretto of Lily’s Labyrinth (an opera for children) with composer Marion Ingoldsby, performed in Garter Lane and at the National Concert Hall.
Ben also continues to work as a painter and his work is included in many private and public collections. He has exhibited throughout Ireland and in London, New York and San Francisco.