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Prague Quadrennial 2023

This is Definitely Real


A weird short film created by myself and the fantastic Bryan Quinn, who not only managed to flub the single four-word line he had, but managed to make it better by doing so. Some people.

Produced in just 24 hours by Fictions Picture Company and Once Off Productions as part of Ireland's exhibition at The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2023.

Ireland’s exhibition for 2023,  curated Tom Creed and produced by ISPD and Once Off Productions, created a very handsome publication and a film, of which This is Definitely Real was one of multiple contributions to the overall project by participating designers.

The other participating designers were Ciaran Bagnall, Lian Bell, Katie Davenport, Mel Mercier, Rob Moloney, Eimer Murphy and Sinéad Wallace. The full film including their pieces can be seen on ISPDs website.

The film is made with a single photo of the empty stage of The Axis theatre in Ballymun, some self-recorded material of Bryan against a green sheet in his kitchen, some free stock clips and sounds, and it looks exactly how you’d imagine. I love it.

I definitely wasn’t expecting any press mentions for such a small experiment but The Guardian said:

“Like the UK exhibit, Ireland’s is intended to be a laboratory. The discussion is intercut with filmed performances: Jack Phelan’s This Is Definitely Real celebrates theatre’s USP of liveness then morphs into a meditation on the threat to actors’ livelihoods posed by AI.”

I often have no idea what I just made or why, so always appreciate a succint summary of what it might have been. Someone else mentioned it but now I can’t find it.