The Poor Mouth - “ Ruth Lehane is stunning in the lead role…” -Irish Examiner
The Lehane Trilogy – “It’s not an easy life for the female clown and Ruth Lehane knows it. Teetering between memories of happy times, astute observations, blithe remarks and a thousand and one idiosyncrasies, The Lehane Trilogy is disarmingly charming. As she plays Waiting for Roger, the swarthy Mexican cowboy who is going to protect her “when the revolution arrives”, we are introduced to her world of synthetic grass, potted flowers, tea-sets, self-help books (“Depression with a smile” FUCK OFF!) and encounter the ill-fated Mr Cat. But the imagined Roger never appears and the barely perceptible fears rise to the surface – “They can all see that I’m the wrong way round”. Each time an expectation develops, Ruth Lehane avoids it with relish, imperceptibly manipulating your feelings till the last minute. But it’s when Lehane undresses to reveal a woolly bikini to general hilarity that the core discipline and rigour of her art are exposed in the form of her muscular body.” -The Irish Times ****
The Chairs - “Ruth Lehane, shows a detailed awareness of both the humour and subtlety of the script, delivering an excellent performance that shifts with an unruly zest from physical comedy to philosophical depth.” -The Irish Times
The Lehane Trilogy – “ Ruth Lehane has been watching the dust settle on her silver tea set for four years; waiting for her life to take a turn for the better. Standing at a literal and metaphorical crossroads in her Aran jumper, woollen bikini, and bright red nose, Lehane is as disorientated as a trilogy in six parts. Where did it all go wrong? How did she become a cat lady? And, most importantly, where is ‘he’? ‘He’ being the tall, muscle-bound, perfect, intangible man who will swoop in and sate her “unsatisfied wants and unrealised dreams.
The axis that Lehane’s one-woman clown performance hinges on is this sense of waiting. As we discover, if one waits passively for life to arrive, melancholy and quiet anguish gradually writhe their way through the cracks in our hopeful exteriors. In the wrong hands – or on the wrong face – a red clown nose could easily trivialise the central issues of depression, loneliness and anxiety that are conveyed in this performance. But, under the direction of Pochinko Clown method expert Veronica Coburn, Lehane somehow manages to channel all that is overtly hilarious and tragic about clowning and distil it into something so human that it highlights the perils that accompany the bleak uncertainty that has become so much a part of our society’s future. Through her wonderful facial expressions and impressive physical vocabulary, Lehane manages to convey what is really a sorrowful tale in a poignantly hilarious way.” -The Irish Theatre Magazine
The Poor Mouth - “Such a narrative-heavy piece on stage locks the gaze on the storyteller, Bonaparte O’Coonassa, played by Ruth Lehane who has a solid grip on the mammoth prose and becomes increasingly believable as a gombeen whose ignorance is only matched by his innocence ” -The Irish Times
The Lehane Trilogy –
ABSOLUT(ely): Hilarious and poignant.
In a nutshell: Ruth Lehane is waiting for happiness, and trying to make sense of it all.
Best for: Anyone who’s ever wondered were they getting it right.
Not for: The very easily offended (occasional strong language) or the coulrophobic.
"What happens when a clown gets the blues? Ruth Lehane’s one-woman show is an exploration of the doubts and fears that plague us all on our journey through this life. This is a play about waiting, but not in a Beckettian sense. This waiting is impatient, doubt-filled, and comic, and the timing of Lehane’s physical theatre is flawless. The set by Veronica Coburn - who also directed - is simple, multi-dimensional and clever, with few props used to great effect, and discreet but effective support is provided by lighting and sound. It is a sensitive, honest study in emotions and what it means to be human.
The trope of the sad clown is given a new twist in this brilliant show. It is Irish and universal; bittersweet and knowing; funny and wise, and more than one audience member was overheard saying ‘that’s me!’ as we exited the venue. Go see; it will enrich your life.” -Entertainment.ie
Pigeon - “Lehane moves with the precision of a dancer.” -The Irish Times
The Lehane Trilogy – "The Lehane Trilogy is the dark brainchild of Ruth Lehane, Miriam Doona writes. She is made up like a clown complete with aran cardigan and kilt. The hour- long, one- woman performance explores the themes of mental illness, isolation, loneliness and ultimate desolation. She begins the show sharing childlike, innocent anecdotes. She violently oscillates between that handstanding,cartwheeling state, via vehement moodswings, to one of mental destitution and self-hate. These consist of powerful self- abhoring soliloquies,which would shame Hamlet himself. These are complete with axe-swinging threats to kill her pet cat, her only companion in the world, because of course, she hates felines. It exposes the fragility of the human condition and how bleak and dismal thoughts can completely alter mood and the perception a person has of reality and that of one's surroundings.
It is heavily melancholic and mildly disturbing. Not for the faint-hearted." -Campus.ie
RUTH 66 - “Meet Ruth, the hapless romantic, anti-clown on a road trip across America. With her two best buds, a Satellite Navigation System called Earll and a blow up sex doll called Kimberly, Ruth sets out for the bright lights of Las Vegas. In between, Mid-America awaits, overflowing with kissable cowboys, drive thru funeral homes, dehydrated coke and 1800 numbers that will confirm what you already know. In Ruth 66, winner of Best Female Performer at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2012, Ruth Lehane returns with a gentle, little charmer whose lightness and laughs mask a thoughtful study of loneliness, longing and difference.
In Ruth’s romanticized world, nowhere is more romantic than America. From the imagined fanfare that greets her arrival to pancakes and syrup, everything is just amazing. She thinks she’ll like America and that America will like her. Like her Uncle Frank, who told her tales of bright lights and big places and was okay with the fact that she was a blue shoe that can’t be a brown shoe. In a world where radio stations encourage the rearing of children to fit the mold, Ruth’s journey becomes less a discovery of America but rather a discovery and acceptance of herself.
Co - directed by Mikel Murfi and Antonio Gil Martinez, Ruth 66 was tightly paced and delivered some memorable visual moments, none more so than Ruth’s big American automobile. Ingeniously designed by Matt Guinnane and Andrew Clancy, Ruth’s clown car is deserving of iconic status right up there with the Batmobile. Sound design by Ivan Birthistle and Vincent Doherty and Lighting Design by Barry McKinney were impeccable in their timing and transformed the small, black box space into a rich, imaginative landscape.
Lehane’s equally imaginative script is charming and subtle. When Lehane lets loose she is a sheer delight. Her Liver Dance routine, a la Little Miss Sunshine, for a Rose of Tralee contest was hilariously funny, as were her episodes with tequila, leaving you wanting more of Lehane at her physical, funny best.
Ruth 66 sneaks up on you unexpectedly, beguiling you with its warmth, humor and charm. A marvelous, magical, madcap tale, its obvious surface conceals a hidden heart, a thoughtful soul and many laughs, all held together by Lehane’s terrifically engaging performance.” -Examiner.com ****
The Chairs - “The willingness of Murfi and Lehane to give full expression to their characters' affection for each other gives the play pathos, but they also trust their roles enough to avoid sentimentality.” -The Irish Times
Zoe’s Play - “Ruth Lehane does an excellent job as the caring Mamma/Nana.” -The Irish Theatre Magazine
RUTH 66 - “Ruth is a clown on a mission, driving across the US and into the arms of the American dream (preferably cowboy-shaped), while trying to discover a lot more about herself.
Ruth Lehane is the driving force behind this comedy show, careening through a series of misadventures with just a particularly vocal sat nav and a hot-air sidekick for company. The clever car at the heart of the set and the nostalgic Americana elements are sure to please a crowd, and Lehane delivers a typically energetic and committed performance, whether artfully switching voices and accents or tearing through a traditional Irish/line dancing routine.” -The Irish Times
The Lehane Trilogy – Adam Shanley’s review: "This one woman clown show exposes the vulnerability of a person’s quest for their life to begin – however “life has a habit of knocking the stuffing out of you." In a show of six parts the audience is guided through a journey in which Ruth Lehane amusingly conveys the desperation to begin her perfect life. She is awaiting a perfect man, one that she has imagined down to the finest of details, one that will kick start a romantic, successful and bountiful life. Instead, she has a cat.
Lehane amusingly conveys the frustration and desperation that comes with waiting for all the perfect aspects of your life to come together and propel you into love, laughter and success. Coupled with her challenged use of red nose theatre this makes for a very enjoyable show which sparks a keen self reflection on the pressures of a perfect life. Slapstick comedy lightens one women’s want for an existence that seems constantly out of reach."
In three words? "Comical, tender, honest" -The Journal.ie
Schools – BodyTalks is a dynamic programme is designed to develop skills that will enable participants to communicate and negotiate interactions with peers, parents, teachers and employers with ease, confidence, clarity and understanding.
Gave me a new perspective on life. Student, Colaiste Mhuire, mixed school, Johnstown, Kilkenny.
I think this was amazing and can make our goals come true. Student St Kevin’s GNS Tallaght
It was a really fun workshop, and a good experience. We learned a lot about how to handle situations but in a fun way. Student, Moyle Park, all boys’ school, Dublin.
BodyTalks/ BodyTalks Junior - Communication for Life
BodyTalks and BodyTalks Junior was borne out of a huge need I see in every corner of life for a better understanding of how to communicate well.
Ruth has a BA in Drama from Trinity College Dublin. She also studied for two years at École Jacques Lecoq in Paris where she completed their two year specialised programme in Physical Theatre. It was at École Jacques Lecoq that Ruth became interested in the relevance of physical awareness, how we present and express ourselves, in everyday life. The analysis and control of body language is recognised as an essential skill in the business world. Ruth Lehane believes that introducing second level students to these concepts would provide them with a great advantage in preparing for work/college life. BodyTalks is a two workshop programme designed by Ruth to do just that.
Ruth’s unique range of experience makes her workshops highly interactive, fun and energising.
The programme consists of two interactive, experiential workshops.
Primary Focus of BodyTalks 1.
Attainment of a greater confidence and self-awareness in relation to their body language and the signals that their natural physicality sends out. It also looks at how they have the power to alter these signals to suit different situations if they so choose.
Primary Focus of BodyTalks 2.
- We build on what the students have learnt in workshop one and help them to develop skills that enable them to communicate and negotiate interactions with peers, parents, teachers or whoever they come in contact with. In particular, we focus on re-framing how they express themselves and hear others. So instead of their responses being habitual or automatic, they start to react from a place of awareness.
“I felt that the workshop was very good and it showed me how to look at situations that have to do with what I want, differently.” Student, Moyle Park, all boys’ school, Dublin.
“I thought it was very interesting and gave me a confidence boost, thank you Ruth.” Student, Colaiste Eoin, mixed school, Finglas, Dublin.
“Brilliant, Great Fun, Learnt Lots.” Student, Eureka Secondary, all girls’ school, Kells, Co Meath.
“It was a really fun workshop, and a good experience. We learned a lot about how to handle situations but in a fun way.” Student, Moyle Park, all boys’ school, Dublin.
“I liked the way Ruth didn’t say “don’t” she said “consider”. Fifth Class Student, St Kevins primary school, Tallaght
One to One
Ruth works with students on a one to one basis on request. Whether it’s bullying, low self-esteem, difficulty fitting in or any of the many challenges facing young people today, these one to one sessions help a student to build confidence, find their voice and develop a positive outlook.
Third Level – Ruth has designed two exciting specialised workshops for third level theatre students. They can be tailored to be a one visit workshop through to a planned programme.
"The Performing Arts studio in Colaiste Dhulaigh was filled with stillness and focussed concentration as the theatre students, red noses at the ready, observed a sole clown appear from behind a screen.
One by one the students confidently took to the floor with their personal clown, authentically expressing their emotions, subtly executing the humour and magic of clown and touching everyone in the room. Red Nose Clown Workshop practitioner Ruth Lehane created a safe space, enabling students to open to the world of clown and to each other. Her insightful and robust feedback to the students shone a light on their hidden performative abilities and they left the workshop with a spirit of play and a request for more.”
Valerie Coyne (MA. Drama and Performance Studies.UCD), Co-Ordinator/Tutor.Colaiste Dhulaigh Performing Arts Department
1. Opening the door to Clown - In this workshop the students are introduced to the fundamentals of Red Nose Theatre, and given an opportunity to open the door and explore their own clown.
2. The Occupation of the Performance Space and Corporal Communication - In this workshop the students gain new awareness of their own physical tendencies through movement analysis. They will acquire a set of complex and precise references, which will act as a springboard for future work.
I first discovered Clown while studying with Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Having gained much experience as a performer, I later went to Toronto to work with Sue Morrison who teaches an approach to clown called “Clown Through Mask”, which was developed by Richard Pochinko. The understanding of Red Nose Theatre is invaluable to any performer.
Workshop 1. An Introduction to Clown
Much of the actor’s life is spent pretending to be someone else, but it is invaluable for one to first understand is who he/she is as a performer. Who the person is underneath, stripped bare for all to see. The clown doesn’t exist aside from the actor performing him. Clown is about humanity, and humanity is universal and vital to all theatre.
In this workshop the students are introduced to the fundamentals of Red Nose Theatre, and given an opportunity to open the door and explore their own clown.
“The clown has great importance as part of the search for what is laughable and ridiculous in man. We should put the emphasis on the rediscovery of our own individual clown, the one that has grown-up within us and which society does not allow us to express.”
― Jacques Lecoq
Workshop 2. Stage Craft ; The Occupation of the Performance Space and Corporal Communication
In this workshop the students gain new awareness of their own physical tendencies through movement analysis. Working with colour, matter and poetry, circuits are laid down in the body through which dramatic emotions circulate, finding their pathway to expression. They will acquire a set of complex and precise references, which will act as a reference for future work.
"Any living space has “dramatic possibilities” and influences the behaviour of the people who enter it or the characters who perform in it."
― Jacques LeCoq
Corporate - Based on real life work-based challenges and issues identified by the participants. This personal and team development training is tailored to each client and their needs. The training can be delivered in teams or on a one-to-one basis and can be a one visit workshop through to a planned programme.
“This is all about interaction with people. As a fast growing global business, our team got a lot from Ruth's workshop” Smart Wall Paint
Companies, charities, community groups and all organisations are invited to contact Ruth to explain their needs so she can propose a tailored training and development programme for your specific needs. The two examples below demonstrate how Ruth applies her communications techniques and understanding to any situation. Please get in touch for a confidential discussion.
Personal Development / Team Building
Based on real life work-based challenges and issues identified by the participants, Ruth uses the techniques of:
1 Role Play.
2 Group Discussion.
3 Observation techniques
to help participants overcome such issues.
Benefits to the employer:
- a more harmonious and ultimately productive team comprised of confident individuals
Benefits to the employee:
- self awareness and building strong communication skills including listening skills.
This personal and team development training is tailored to each client and their needs. The training can be delivered in teams or on a one-to-one basis and can be a one visit workshop through to a planned programme.
Ruth has worked with Diageo and the Irish Management Institute (IMI) as examples.
Drama Workshops - Designed to help people, ranging from ex-prisoners and former drug addicts to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, to rebuild relationships, to integrate back into 'normal' life and to make plans.
Designed to help people, ranging from ex-prisoners and former drug addicts to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, to rebuild relationships, to integrate back into 'normal' life and to make plans.
These interactive group workshops use “Forum Theatre” as a tool where participants learn to express needs in a non-violent way.
Benefits to participants :
- Learn how to express themselves and better understand others.
- Build self confidence and a positive approach to moving forward.
Ruth has worked with both adults and teenagers on targeted projects as diverse as a nationwide Anti-Bullying Programme and a developmental drama module for the Merchants Quay Drug Rehabilitiation Project.
Ruth's theatre company, Fourth Leaf Productions, makes theatre that engages, challenges and delights an audience. “My strong belief is that theatre is not made up of two spaces, that of audience and players, but one, where the unexpected can happen.” Ruth Lehane.
The Lehane Trilogy…a theatre show in six parts.
This award winning show written and performed by Ruth, was first produced in 2012.
Reviews and Acclaims for The Lehane Triology
“Each time an expectation develops, Ruth Lehane avoids it with relish, imperceptibly manipulating your feelings till the last minute. The Lehane Trilogy is disarmingly charming.” - The Irish Times ****
“The trope of the sad clown is given a new twist in this brilliant show. Go see; it will enrich your life.” - Entertainment.ie
“It is heavily melancholic and mildly disturbing. Not for the faint-hearted.” - Campus.ie
Ruth Lehane’s crossroads both literally and metaphorically is very like an Irish crossroads where comely maidens once danced in the Celtic mists. Ruth is wearing her best kilt and Aran jumper. She has been waiting for a long time. She’s waiting for her life to begin. She’s sure it’ll start any minute now. Her only companion is a cat. Ruth Lehane hates cats. She’d prefer a man, a handsome man with black hair, big boots and a moustache. Which road will lead to the life she so desperately desires – a life full of love, laughter and success?
What is clown theatre ?
A clown show has a purpose and that purpose is to express/reveal the clown. A clown script is structured to do that but in the live moment on stage anything can happen making clown theatre a truly live and anarchic form. The great thing about humanity is that it’s universal. The great thing about shared experience is that it’s enjoyable.
This show is for anyone who has ever felt too sad to cry. It is for anyone who has ever been so in love that they felt their head would blow off. It is for anyone who wants to laugh.
Reviews and Acclaims for Ruth 66
“Ruth 66 sneaks up on you unexpectedly, beguiling you with its warmth, humor and charm. A marvelous, magical, madcap tale, its obvious surface conceals a hidden heart, a thoughtful soul and many laughs, all held together by Lehane’s terrifically engaging performance.” - Examiner.com
“Lehane delivers a typically energetic and committed performance, whether artfully switching voices and accents or tearing through a traditional Irish/line dancing routine.” - The Irish Times
What happens when you take a step that brings you away from all things familiar? RUTH 66 is a show about a clown who does just that. She leaves the moss-drenched crossroads where she has been for a long time to travel across America in search of Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll! Amidst her antics at The Palomino Motel; tequila in the back of Josephs Bar and an encounter with a moose, will she reach a new understanding of who she is and what the hell she’s doing here? Join Best Female Performer 2012 Dublin Fringe Festival 2012 on this bold, raucous voyage to find out.
Winner of Best Female Performer Award - Dublin Fringe Festival 2012 for “The Lehane Trilogy…a theatre show in six parts” which she wrote and performed. The follow up to which “RUTH 66” was a huge success at Fringe 2013.
Ruth is a professionally trained and international award-winning writer and actress.
Some of her acting credits include:
Arrah-Na-Pogue : Abbey Theatre, Dublin
The Misogynist : Abbey Theatre, Dublin
The Silver Tassie : Abbey Theatre, Dublin
Dog (with Barabbas) : Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Moby Dan (with Barabbas) : Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Blowfish (with Barabbas) : The Ark Theatre, Dublin
The Poor Mouth (with Blue Raincoat) : Project Arts Centre, Dublin
The Chairs (with Blue Raincoat) : The Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin
The Bald Soprano (with Blue Raincoat) : The Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin
Tales from Ovid (with Theatreworks) : The Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin
The Tinker’s Wedding (with Big Telly Theatre) : Lyric Theatre, Belfast
In the Shadow of the Glen (with Big Telly Theatre) : Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Pigeon (with Carpet Theatre Company) : Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Two for Dinner for Two (with Carpet Theatre Co) : Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Zoe’s Play (with The Ark) : The Ark Theatre
The Travelling Teller (with Cahoots NI) : Civic Theatre, Tallaght
Bruised (with Tinderbox Theatre Company) : Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast
Happy Days : English Theatre Berlin, Germany
Circus Dances : The Irish Arts Centre, New York
The Mysteries : Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
No Aqui (with Bantam Theatre of Barcelona) : Spanish National Tour
Ruth’s professional experience is characterised by versatility: while much of her work has been explicitly text-based, she is also well acquainted with a highly physical approach to theatre.
Studied Drama at Trinity College, Dublin.
Studied Physical Theatre for two years under Jacques Lecoq, École Jacques Lecoq, Paris.
Studied Clown Through Mask with Sue Morrison, Toronto, Canada.
Studied The American Musical, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Centre, Connecticut, New York.