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Film and Theatre students perform Huis Clos in DkITs MacAnna Theatre

16 March 2019

February 26th- 28th saw DkIT students from the BA in Theatre and Film Practice perform their production of Huis Clos by Jean Paul Sartre. The performance was proudly hosted at the MacAnna Theatre, one of the performance spaces at DkIT.

Huis Clos premiered at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier in Paris in May 1944. Directly translated as No Exit, the French term has a more legalistic meaning referring to a discussion that happens behind closed doors Three damned souls, Joseph Garcin, Inès Serrano, and Estelle Rigault, are brought to the same room in Hell and locked inside. Each holds a dark secret as to why they are there.  They had all expected torture devices to punish them for eternity, but instead find a plain room. It is a depiction of the afterlife in which three deceased characters are punished by being locked into a room together, forever, the torment being the way they treat each other. It is the source of Sartre's especially famous quotation "L'enfer, c'est les autres" or "Hell is other people".

It's set in hell which of course, none of us have ever been to. Therefore, trying to create that depiction on stage took a lot of questioning on trying to figure out what hell is to us. A line in the play is 'hell is other people' and hopefully by designing a set that offered no distractions to the 3 characters, it created the sense that these 3 people would initiate hell for each other because there was nothing else for them to do."

commented final year student Annie Gallagher who was the set design co-ordinator. 

Joseph, Inès and Estelle were portrayed by final year students Pat Kerly, Lauren Colhoun and Amy McGovern respectively. Behind the scenes fellow students from the BA Theatre and Film Studies took on roles to allow the performance to come to life. These roles ranged from stage management to lighting and set design.

Huis Clos is one of many live performances that the students get to take part in during their time in the course.  Uniquely, this course also allows students the opportunity to gain core skills in technical theatre practice, including set design and construction, sound and lighting design, costume design and stage management. They also practice promotion, administration and management skills in their third year projects. This ultimately allows the students to diversify their skills by allowing them to develop skills not only in voice, acting and movement, but also in film studies and film production & post-production.

On the challenges faced during the performace Annie continued;

Huis Clos challenged all of us in different ways. It tested the actors stamina as they were on stage without a break from beginning to end and it gave the stage management a chance to try new things when it came to set and lighting. It was a tough but rewarding experience."

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