Michelle Read & Brian Keegan present

On A House Like A Fire

In this nostalgic, funny and moving show writer-performer Michelle Read has collaborated with composer Brian Keegan to create a portrait of her mother in words, music and pictures.

On A House Like A Fire is a powerful story told through fragments and glimpses - an immersive experience about the nature of memory and the way we remember. Sometimes in a gesture, or in a turn of phrase, sometimes in the scent of hairspray, or glimpsed in an old photograph, a person reappears. In this evocative and lyrical memoir piece, words and music ebb and flow to build up and undermine the past like a beach over time and tide.

Margaret, Read's Mother lived with Alzheimer’s at the end of her life. On A House Like A Fire isn’t directly about that or about her loss, but it does touch on both those things.On A House Like A Fire - Michelle Read on the nature of memory (rte.ie)

Written & Performed by: Michelle Read
Composed by: Brian Keegan
Lighting Design by: Niall Cranny & Eoin Fegan
Set Design by: Ellen Kirk, Michelle Read & Brian Keegan

Co-produced with An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny and Droichead Arts Centre. Originally commissioned by Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival.

Michelle Read
Michelle is an award-winning theatre-maker with a background in comedy. She has performed, written and produced work in Ireland for nearly thirty years and aims to create engaging, relatable and emotionally complex stories for the stage. Her comedy-drama ‘Bang!’ about gender identity, premiered at the Dublin Theatre Festival in October 2021, and ‘On A House Like A Fire’ had its digital premiere at the Bealtaine Festival At Home online in May 2021. Michelle is an alumni of Six In The Attic with Irish Theatre Institute 2021/22.

Brian Keegan
Brian is a composer and sound designer. He has written music for live performance, feature-length dramas and documentaries and numerous short films. His compositions for film have been heard at festivals in Ireland and internationally. Brian has also written music for the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and a range of ensembles & performers. His awards include Germany’s DAAD and the François de Roubaix music composition award. His work in collaboration with Michelle includes both the digital and live score for ‘On A House Like A Fire’ and the music for the Dublin Theatre Festival production of ‘Bang!’ in 2021.

‘...utterly absorbing... ’

‘...a beautiful one-woman drama...’

‘...done with great feeling, affection and atmosphere... ’

‘...understated but almost tangible...’

‘...an ending that's dramatic, moving and told with great skill and sensitivity.’

‘Show of the week’

★★★★ Irish Mail on Sunday

‘full of affection and warmth...’

‘...Keegan's atmospheric music unspools throughout...’

Irish Independent

‘the narrative oozes truth’

‘...beautifuly crafted.’

Sunday Independent