Barbarism begins at home “The Last Days of Cleopatra”


Sexton’s no stranger to controversy. Some audience members were appalled by the frankness of some of the carry on in her last work For Love. They had no problem telling her either.

“One woman wrote that she was horrified by the play. It was actually great to hear, but also hard to hear, because if you believe the good you have to believe the bad. It’s not the sex stuff in my work that upsets the most; I think it’s the intimacy that’s seen as more dangerous. I’m always trying to push it further.”

After the business of writing a new play there are unique challenges for contemporary Irish actors and theater makers living here to gets to grips with. Sexton lives in Brooklyn and has discovered that American theater companies will often suggest she go to Ireland to find more Irish actors and companies to tour her work with.

In return Ireland-based companies will tell her to look harder on this side of the pond. Because of that she wishes there was more structure and support for Irish actors here.

Thankfully she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to get her work seen, even if that means dreaded Kickstarter campaigns that make her feel naked or beholden.

“We went on a tour without a stage manager or a director,” she laughs. “It’s unheard of. One of our actors did all the tech. We were like the Flintstones going around the country.”

But she wants to clarify that she’s not moaning, nor is she looking for a handout.

“I have been supported and I am so lucky. Ciaran and Charlotte’s (of the Irish Repertory Theatre) level support is unheard of. It was so great of them to take a rookie like me and stamp off-Broadway on my play.

“Everything else was like a cherry on top. What I would love to see is some structure set now up to support the growing community of Irish actors and performers here. The point is to get our work out there.”

The Last Days Of Cleopatra will play at Urban Stages beginning August 20.