Ali Hardiman - Comic star brings show to the Civic Theatre

COMPETITION: See question at end of story.

By Tara McCoy

One of Ireland’s most dynamic stars to watch, Ali Hardiman is described as “a winning performer whose writing matches her comic performing style”, is bringing her most recent project to Tallaght.

Ali's production of ‘Electric’ will be at The Civic Theatre from April 2 to 6 at 8:15 p.m. and is a show you won’t want to miss.

LIFE Ali Hardiman Electric 2

Starring alongside Ericka Roe, the duo tells the refreshing story of the unexpected connection between two girls, Scarlett and Joni from different walks of life at the Electric Picnic music festival.

The production has seen great success, receiving an impressive 4-star rating from The Reviews Hub and a 5-star rating from The Arts Review, which described the play as “smart, funny, utterly engaging... it’s the closest thing to heaven you’re likely to experience for quite some time.”

The Echo caught up with Ali before her upcoming performance to discuss her start in theatre, her current works and her plans for the future.

What sparked your interest in theatre? When did you start acting and writing your own plays?

Before I could read or write I used to put performances on for any poor unsuspecting visitor that came to our house. Then growing up, when I learned how to write, I used to write plays and cast my childhood friends as the supporting characters in the plays - needless to say I was always taking front and centre. Then I started going to drama classes on the weekends and writing plays as soon as I could write.

How does a live theatre show compare to your work in film and TV? Is there one you prefer to the other?

I don't know if there's one I prefer over the other - they're really different. Performing on stage is incredible because you have a live reaction from the audience and whatever happens, happens. While with Film & TV you have to be as alive and, in the moment, but you have the luxury of trying it a few different ways. With Film too of course you can literally pick what you want the audience to focus on by zooming in but in theatre you have to find another way of doing it which is also a good challenge.

Could you tell me a little about the production process for ‘Electric’?

So, we originally ran the show in Theatre Upstairs. The first thing was I wrote the script! I had the idea for a few months and when I sat down and made myself write it all out it took maybe a month. Then I pitched it to Karl & Laura at Theatre Upstairs and they really liked it. We rehearsed maybe 2 or 3 times a week for 5 weeks. It was myself, Ericka (Joni), our director Clare Maguire, Ursula McGinn who did our set design, Shane Gill who did our lighting design, my brother Sam Hardiman who composed the music and then Gavin Mooney who was our stage manager. With the tour we're still rehearsing 2 or 3 days every week but now we're just refining bits and making everything adaptable to the different venues.

Where did the idea for ‘Electric’ come from?

I got the idea of the play from my friendship with Ericka (Joni). We're from different sides of the city and I always found it interesting how different and similar we were at the same time. We also both felt we were constantly judged based on our different accents. I wanted to write about that in a way that young people could relate to and see themselves in.

What do you hope people get from this play?

I really hope the play causes people to think about the snap judgments we make about each other every day - based on very little. I want people to have fun and enjoy the show, but ultimately, I hope it stays with them and affects the way they think about people.

My plans are to keep writing and performing for many years to come! I have a few exciting bits coming up and we've just launched my company ILA Productions so I plan to keep making work whether it be for stage or screen. I really enjoy performing my own writing so I would love to continue with that in the future.

For more information on the show visit civictheatre.ie or www.ilaproductions.com

QUESTION: Where does Ali Hardiman play from April 2 to April 6?

To win a pair of tickets to see 'Electric', simply send your name and answer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or message The Echo Newspaper on Facebook by Saturday, March 30 by 6pm.

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