The Hound of Ulster

This talented local company…wheels wildly between irreverent humour and reverence for the source material of Irish myths in this draining, exhilarating 75-minute dramedy… – Winnipeg Free Press

Performed with boundless enthusiasm… A heady mix of blood, sweat, tears and laughter, Ulster isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you’re open to its folklore-nerd charms, it’s darn good fun. – CBC

The Hound of Ulster was based on the legend of Cúchulainn, a figure in Celtic mythology. Cúchulainn is the greatest warrior in all of Ireland, because when he fights, he undergoes a “warp-spasm” – a terrifying berserker rage that transforms him into a mad, unstoppable beast. He has the love of a good woman and a steady military career, but can he keep his two selves separate forever?

This was by far the darkest piece we’ve ever done. We wanted to explore the cult of celebrity surrounding Cúchulainn, and the isolation he felt as a result. We also explored the glorification of war. Because these themes are still very timely, and we wanted to confront the audience with that fact, we cultivated a more modern aesthetic style than ever before. Our costumes were inspired by military fatigues, and we performed in a basement, surrounded by concrete. The only aesthetic nod to the story’s mythological origins were swirling blue Celtic warrior-style tattoos that we applied to our faces and arms.

The Hound of Ulster will be our last show for the foreseeable future, as our founding members have all moved to different cities to further their education. But we were very glad to be able to put on one last show before that happened, and we think we went out with a bang.

L-R: Connla (Dan Augusta), Medb (Jessy Ardern), Cúchulainn (Ariel Levine), and Emer (Michelle Arentsen)

L-R: Connla (Dan Augusta), Medb (Jessy Ardern), Cúchulainn (Ariel Levine), and Emer (Michelle Arentsen)

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