Joe Devlin asked me to make a book about Focus, a well-known experimental theatre company which survived on a shoestring for 50 years. We explored the archives, finding wonderful old black and white theatre stills I just had to use. The problem? There was almost no information on them. I had to turn detective, finding retired actors and directors and prompting them to use their connections to track down the people in the photographs. The night President Michael D. Higgins launched “Five Decades in Focus”, many of them turned up, and they all signed a copy together to post to the acting teacher in New York who had started it all.
Five Decades in Focus
“The book’s design is very eye-catching. It’s a beautiful book and you want to open it. The layout is very easy to read and very attractive, so it’s a good package.
People were delighted we were able to unearth so many wonderful images that hadn’t been seen in years. They were thrilled and honoured. They thought it a great memento of a significant arts organisation in Ireland. People were finding old friends in it they hadn’t seen for many years. Also, they were looking at themselves maybe 20 or 30 years younger and that brought up memories, and pride in what they’d created. They feel validated for all the work they did – their work has now been marked forever.”