Timmy Creed's play 'Spliced' to tour GAA clubs
By John Harrington
Actor Timmy Creed will bring his play ‘Spliced’ to a number of GAA clubs in the coming weeks and months.
A talented hurler and footballer from Bishopstown in Cork, his play examines the duality and mental challenge of a being an individual who takes part in a team sport like hurling.
“Spliced means the fusing together of two things to make one thing,” said Creed.
“The idea is that there are two sides to every story: the player and the non player; the commitment and freedom; the liberation and the confinement; the direction and the lack of direction.
“There is another side, I'm just trying to explore the other side of the player that we never see talked about because the Championship is so massive.
“It is all about the games and performance whereas the spliced element is actually the fusing of the two. We forget about one side of ourselves to front another side of ourselves.”
The inspiration for Creed’s play grew in part from his own personal journey of taking a step back from gaelic games to focus on his art.
He found it to be a challenging experience, but a revealing one too.
“I started questioning myself more about what I wanted,” said Creed.
“When I was playing sport I never had any trouble with depression or anything like that, I don't have it since then, but it is part of being an artist that it is more difficult being on your own as opposed to being in this set-up which decides what you do at the weekend for you.
“Mine was built around that, but then I ended up outside of it. I just found that difficult. I just felt a loneliness from guys I was closest with, even though I could see them and touch them and talk to them, we didn't speak the same language that we were used to. That was difficult and it is difficult. Some guys would be my closest friends, but we don't have that same closeness.”
“The language we speak then isn't as clear-cut as it is when you are playing GAA. I felt things became a bit more difficult.
“It is hard being an actor anyway because you are on your own, you don't have that team set-up you'd have in another job. You are on your own. When you are raised in the team dynamic, when you step outside of that I found that very difficult because when you are playing hurling with a team it is all team driven.
“You don't even have time to think about your individual self. You are training three nights a week, you are in the gym, you are always connecting with people. That is brilliant, it makes you socially engaged, but there is this solo side to you that doesn't get any treatment when you are in a team.
“That is partly what the play is about. I'm very interested in that. Is there another life in you that doesn't actually get the same time because you aren't exploring it?”
Playing gaelic games or any other team-sport can be a hugely rewarding experience but, as in all facets of life, balance is important.
Sometimes in the quest to be the very best sportsperson you can be you make too many sacrifices in other areas of your life. You don’t open yourself fully to what the world outside of sport has to offer, or the mental stress you place yourself under to be successful on the pitch exacts an excessive emotional toll off it.
Creed hopes that coming to see ‘Spliced’ will help those heavily involved in sport be more accepting of their struggle as athletes and develop the understanding that they are not defined as a person by the sport they play.
“I wanted to write so I thought about my friends, I'd never get them to go to see a play, and I thought could I write something that is about them that could try to make them engage with art on their level,” Creed explains.
“Also on a level that anyone can engage with and maybe make them question their boundaries regarding the things that they do. There is this whole other thing. I've learned loads from art and acting.
“Art basically replicates life as opposed to you fully focusing on sport - the Premier League, La Liga, and basketball and NFL.
“When you play sport to a high level you really appreciate other athletes. That is what you are trying to do, you are trying to achieve. You are inspired by top class athletes. You don't really have the time or the knowhow to get into something like art. That is the reason I wanted to make something for GAA fellas.
“They could go to a play and say this is actually about me and think maybe I can learn something from going to a play. That is what started the whole thing really.”
Spliced tour dates
16th October- Draíocht, Blanchardstown
17th October- Riverbank Arts Centre event, staged at Ballymore Eustace Handball Club, Kildare
18th October- Ramor Theatre, Virginia, Cavan
19th October-Linenhall Arts Centre, staged at the Ball Alley, An Sportlann, McHale Road, Castlebar F23 X651
22nd October- St Marks, Tallaght
23rd October- Na Fianna, Glasnevin
24th October- Kilmacud Crokes, Stillorgan
25th October- Cuala, Dalkey
26th October- St Judes, Templeogue
29th & 30th October- An Culturlann, Belfast International Arts Festival
1st November- An Táin Art Centre, Dundalk, Co Louth at Dundalk Squash Court
2nd November- Visual, Carlow, staged at Tinryland GAA Club
The Everyman Cork presents Spliced at:
5th Nov. -Brian Dillons GAA Club, Montonotte
6th Nov- St. Finbarr’s GAA Club, Togher
7th Nov.- Glen Rovers Hurling Club, Ballyvolane
8th Nov. - Blackrock Hurling Club
Here is a link to a trailer about the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UiJX53u3CQ
More information can be found on www.spliced.ie.