How It’s New York:  Aedin Moloney’s company, Fallen Angels, is based in New York, and it is the first American company (founded 2003) whose goal is presenting new Irish and British plays by and about women.  Like George C. Heslin’s Origin, Fallen Angels seeks specifically to present this work FOR New York audiences.   Fallen Angels  partners with other not-for-profits, and for Eva the Chaste they are partnering with Yolanda Sanchez, the Executive Director of Puerto Rican Association for Community Affairs, and C.A.C.H.E. at Casabe Houses in East Harlem. A portion of proceeds from the play will benefit this cultural org, which offers free classes and workshops.  The play is directed by Fallen Angels’ Associate Director John Keating, seen in a lot of New York theatre (much but not all of it Irish!).

I think it’s a very New York thing that playwright Barbara Hammond was inspired by the way Aedín interprets Molly Bloom for the Bloomsday readings at Ulysses every year.  More on How It’s New York below (cuz I want to get to the play!)

How It’s Irish:  Aedín herself is Dublin born (and her dad is the Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney.  I interviewed him last year for Irish Examiner)  The play is about an Irish woman who’s been estranged from her mum, reconnecting with her after many years– and the more I read of Irish literature, the more the mother-daughter (and father-son) theme emerges as a perennial fave.  Barbara Hammond, the playwright, is an American of Irish descent (her great-great-grandfather came during the famine), who left home at as a teenager to live in Ireland for a while. 

This is a world premiere, the company’s first.  It runs July 6-24 at the Clurman Theatre on Theatre Row, and tickets are already going fast, so get them here!

I attended a reading of the play at the Irish American Historical Society during APAP back in January, and wrote about it for Irish Examiner then that:

Aediín Moloney is a sensitive, expressive performer, in Barbara Hammond’s play about an Irish emigrant returning home to care for a sick mother.

Though the play has not officially opened anywhere, it has gotten such little “blurbs” thanks to the readings it has enjoyed in New York,;Washington, DC; Paris, Tuscany, Berlin and London.  Malachy McCourt, for example, said that “Moloney is simply magnicient; Hammond’s writing is wildly comedic, brilliantly tragic by turns.”  Bill Whelan described Moloney’s performance as “extraordinary.”

It’s a one-woman, 70 minute show, and Aedín goes through the wringer.  I’m eager to see it and how it’s evolved since January.  You can hear Aedín on this week’s podcast discussing it all!
Here’s the official description of the play:

Eva the Chaste, written by Barbara Hammond and produced by Fallen Angel Theatre Company, immerses the audience in the pivotal passions and pressing responsibilities of a woman whose twenty-year sprint away from her past comes crashing to a close as dawn breaks over Dublin Bay. Hammond set out to reveal, through the use of spoken thought, a genuine and intimate portrait of a woman at the crossroads, both literally and figuratively, of her life. The script, set in Dublin and Paris, explores the profound and unpredictable bond between a mother and a daughter; the grasp for life at the approach of death; and the road to hell — shining, smooth and paved with good intentions.

Fallen Angel Theatre Company has a number of other projects in development, including an evening of one-act plays based on the writings of Colum McCann.

More How It’s New York: the company is hosting several panel discussions about the play with many New York literary lights:  on the 12th, they are having one on “Writing Women’s Lives” with Colum McCann, dramaturg Susan Jonas, author Belinda McKeon and playwright Honor Molloy; on the 17th, they are having one on “Mothers and Daughters” with Annabel Clark, Toni Dorfman, playwright Barbara Hammond, and Yolanda Sanchez, and on the 17th, one on “Great Roles for Women,” with playwright Tanya Barfield, Estelle Lasher, playwright/performance artist Deb Margolin, Aedín Moloney and Irish Rep’s Charlotte Moore.

What could speak more loudly to how Aedín is embedded in New York than that very eclectic list of stars?   She’s drawing from worlds that don’t always overlap– dramaturgs, playwrights, actors, teachers.  It’s impressive!

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.