Archive for February 9th, 2010

Siobhan Miley Obituary (1965-2010)

9th February 2010 by Maura McHugh


by Elizabeth Moynihan

The Actress, Writer and Graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Siobhán Miley died on Friday morning, the 5th of February 2010.

She came into my life 15 years ago as a fellow actor on a performance piece entitled Fishbelly White. Our collaboration at that point bore none of the hallmarks of the defining relationship that it would become for me over the next ten years. It wasn’t until 1999 that the seeds of a long and intimate friendship were sown in the rehearsal rooms of the Gate theatre’s production of An Ideal husband, where she played the leading role of Lady Chiltern. My lowly turn was over by the interval and so, every night I spent the second act watching her from the wings, as she spun out the character of the politically and morally upright Lady Chiltern, with such precision, truth and humanity that it became clear to me any other choice would have been so much less interesting, less engaging less…. well brilliant! And from that moment I wanted to yell from the roof tops “Siobhán Miley is the best actress to ever come out of Ireland.” Many of my actor friends have told me since then that having seen her in the role of Pegeen Mike in the Abbey’s production of The Playboy of the Western World, that they too were affected deeply by her extra ordinary talent. And so I cast myself in the role of fan, which developed into what became a deep and lasting friendship when we holidayed in Mexico post show. Prior to that she thought of me as just another annoying blond that talked too much!

In Mexico we bonded, and I learned to shut up and let her talk.

There she swam with Dolphins and shoals of Barracuda, never showing fear as I cowered on the deck of the little boat we rented. We had many more trips together that involved hours of chat and laughter under a foreign sky. On one trip to Cyprus we sat pool-side in the sweet heat and it was only when dusk hit at 7pm that we realized we had been talking, laughing and basking in that oh-so-rare simpatico we were lucky to enjoy for 8 hours straight.

Siobhán had a passion for storytelling. Be it on a beach towel, as an actress or director and finally writing for RTÉ’s Fair City. Inspiring me and anyone lucky enough to be called her friend. It is as a result of Siobhán’s devoted friendship that I had the courage to dip my toe into literary waters. As she had the ability to instil confidence and passion for the arts in those around her. Wanting to share her knowledge and talent. Encouraging you to be the best you could possibly be.

In recent years her greatest love has been television. Watching it and making it. She was working on her own drama series and had also adapted it for the stage on the encouragement of Jim Culleton, a close friend.

Siobhán Miley was loved so deeply not just for her enormous talent as an actor and writer or for her incredibly sharp intellect but also for her humanity, her compassion, her gentleness and wit.

Many afternoons over the years I sought solace on Siobhán’s sofa after one of my failed romances. There she would ply me with dark chocolate, tea and sympathy. Then cover me with a blanket and let me sleep off the heart ache.

Darling Friend, may I now cover you with a blanket of my love and let you sleep off your heart ache. Rest, rest in peace my sweet and beautiful Siobhán.


Siobhán’s funeral mass will take place at 11am on Thursday, the 11th of February, at Corpus Christi Church, Home Farm Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.

Listowel Workshops 2010

9th February 2010 by Maura McHugh

Listowel Writers Week is running a wide range of workshops during the festival, and two in particular might be of interest to our members.

Writing for Theatre with Michael Harding.

Finding your story. This workshop will deal with the following aspects of writing for theatre. What is the best starting point for a story? How do you examine and present characters and the world of the story? How do you shape your story, including how to structure and shape a play for theatre? What are the essential rules and principles of the craft, and of making your story work on the stage? How do you examine the personal and socio-political aspect of your story and how it must serve the requirements of the audience?

Entry free: €175.00 for each three-day workshop.

Writing for Screen with Paddy Breathnach.

This workshop will concentrate on the beginning of a screenplay. Refining the idea, exploring the central characters, describing the setting and identifying the tone.

Entry Fee: €175.00 for each three-day workshop.

2010 P. J. O’Connor Awards

9th February 2010 by Maura McHugh

RTÉ’s annual P. J. O’Connor Awards for Radio Drama is now open for applications for its 2010 competition.

For the first time RTÉ Radio Drama is inviting candidates to submit radio plays of up to 55 minutes in duration – with a first prize of €3,000 for the winning script, as well as runner up prizes of €2,000 and €1,000 respectively.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday, the 31st of March.

Guidelines and information on the competition are available on the web site.