The Civic Theatre talks to Shane Cradock about his upcoming play ‘The Waiting Room ‘ which opens at the Civic Theatre on Thursday, 13th February and runs until Saturday, 15th February.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m married to Judy and am father to two live-wires, Jane(6) and Sam(4). I’m from Kilkenny, live in Wicklow and do most of my work in Dublin. I guess you could say I’m a business person with a strong creative side. This is my second play, the other was a comedy also. That one was called ‘In Two Minds’, and won an award with the Irish Screenwriting and Playwrights Guild. My parallel universe job is as a coach and mentor to entrepreneurs and busy executives but this play isn’t about business – it’s informed more by some of the life lessons and insights I’ve learned over the years, albeit in a humorous way.
What is your new play ‘The Waiting Room’ about?
The Waiting Room is a feel good comedy with a strong positive life message at it’s core. It centres around Mick, a regular guy living an uneventful life with his fiancé Marie, when something incredible happens that turns his life upside down. The play juggles themes of life, love and second chances and puts a magnifying glass on the way we an often live our lives on ‘automatic pilot’, while it just passes us by.
What inspired you to write this play?
At the core of my work as a coach/mentor is the word inspire. To help inspire people to a better situation, whatever that may be. And inspiration has been lacking for many over the past few years in Ireland. I was trying to think of a creative way of doing this through theatre when the first half of the The Waiting Room popped in one day. Having said that, I sat on the idea for a few years. That only changed when a great friend challenged me to ‘just write it’. Thanks to her, I did.
How much of your own life ends up in your characters?
I think it has to – even unconsciously. In the case of The Waiting Room, the central character Mick and I aren’t really alike – but in a previous version of me, we probably shared some of the questions he has about life.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Sitting down to write. As a well known writer said to me, ‘there’s nothing scarier than a blank page’. As mentioned above, a friend challenged me to write this play and very importantly she kept checking in on me, holding me accountable. That’s one aspect of what I do as a coach/mentor, and she did it to me! So I ended up writing The Waiting Room at what was the busiest time of my life and learned a hugely valuable lesson – there never is a right time to write something, be it a book, play, song, movie or whatever’s inside you. You just have to start it and keep going.
What do you want people to leave thinking about?
Number one, I’d love people to leave The Civic having had a great laugh and feeling that they got a great’s night entertainment. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll have a little spring in their step.
The Waiting Room by Shane Cradock
Thursday, 13th February – Saturday, 15th February 2014 @ 8pm
Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Tel: 01 4627477