Big Telly is a professional theatre company, formed in 1987 and based in Portstewart, Northern Ireland. The company’s range and scale of work has enhanced its reputation for innovation. Its distinctive professional theatre productions tour nationally and internationally, and the company also fosters creative collaborations and community-based participation projects. Big Telly concentrates on the visual potential of theatre through fusion with other art forms, to create a sense of spectacle. The company is determined to offer audiences thought-provoking entertainment that surprises, stimulates and ignites the imagination.
One Sandwich Short of a Genius is a theatrical and comedic investigation into the fine line between genius and insanity.
It is a devised piece about conformity, commitment and denial. The story focuses on a family full of extraordinary eccentricities, delusions and behaviours which must be kept private at all costs. The unmentionable things and the secrets pale into insignificance when, in the middle of one stormy night, a sixteenth-century Spanish galleon crashes into the side of their house...
A small, confident choir of half masks have gathered to sing some hymns and light opera, resting on their laurels after their last success, a hugely ambitious site specific South Pacific. Enter Melmoth, a distraught, tormented soul, half man half devil, condemned to relive his terrible story for eternity. The choir try really hard to leave, but they are no match for Melmoth. He is evil. Events very quickly spiral out of control as they become trapped in a gothic nightmare. The use of masks creates theatrical opportunities for how the stories are told.
Melmoth the Wanderer is about the seductive qualities of fanaticism, the lure of the collective and its ability to transform individual thought into co-operative action. It's about how liberating it is to relinquish responsibility and how far we will depart from our accepted moral code. It asks questions about the Irish, about our relationship with religion and with violence, and about how we use comedy to hide behind. With action set in Spain, Germany and East India, Melmoth the Wanderer also explores cultural and personal identity and integration – an issue particularly acute for the English in Ireland during Maturin's lifetime, and one with continued relevance.
Workshops, post-performance discussions and masterclasses can all be offered as part of a production package for schools and adults.
“Once again, the director Zoe Seaton demonstrates that theatre can be inventive and intelligent without neglecting its fundamental duty to entertain”
“one of the best things I’ve seen at the Fringe... five-star show... ambitious, joyfully messy, never at less than full-throttle, Melmoth is the Fringe at its best”
"thrilling in its energy and invention... singing, dancing, puppetry, striking stage imagery"
“spellbinding spectacle… a world-class production by this innovative, ambitious and risk-taking local company”