Michelle Dooley Mahon /MDM/The Scourge  is a Writer, Playwright, Performer, Photographer, Cartoonist, and Documentary Maker from Wexford, Ireland. 

She is the the Award Winning Author of the critically acclaimed memoir - Scourged - 

 The book was written about her late Mother Siobhán, and her descent into the living hell that is Alzheimers -   a book she also edited, proofed, designed, crowd funded, and wheeled into a book shop on a handcart 9 months after Siobháns death. 

Being described as “groundbreaking and remarkable, as intimate as a diary, a gourmet soup of passionate prose, beautiful, shocking, hilarious, a triumph!”  Scourged  achieved cult status and word of mouth publicity from a world wide audience reading the tandem narratives as the two women tell a story that flip flops between decades and damaged brains.

Michelle uses meditation to allow her to deal with the highs of being a free cycling Bi-Polar woman which she describes as a blessing and a gift. She teaches Mindless classes to groups about being present and aware and of how she lost 5 stone and reversed her Diabetes using mantras, visualisation techniques, and awareness. 

Although she is an introverted socialite the warchest of archive and documented work in her tiny sentinel caused the film maker Ted Moran to start to catalogue the life of the scourge. He has filmed her on and off stage, in bars and convents, being interviewed and at home casually ranting  and will now fly to New York to capture her discovering the theatre and an American audience.  

Eoin Colfer described her as a “cross between Joan Didion and David Sedaris, delving deep into the seam of the everyday, mining the ores of tragedy and comedy, shining a single headlamp as she digs,  until the unsuspecting reader, laughed out and cried out, is forced to go for a lie down

She has also been described as  a “female Flann O Brien, savagely funny, razor sharp, authentic, raw, hilarious, inspirational philosophical wordsmith with integrity” 

 

Michelle describes adapting the book for the stage as the hardest thing she has ever done. 

......."writing "The Scourge" did what my Mothers death could not, it silenced me, I sat for days staring at the flashing cursor , I needed an "In" ......... something the audience could see,something I could demonstrate the enormity of the scenes with and so I offered a prayer to my Mother, and all that was good in the Universe to help me and closed the laptop. And it was then as we were driving into Carlow town where Siobhán was born that I saw the small blonde head of Vonnie Dooley lying in the middle of the road" ..........

 

 

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 A discarded naked doll with a bashed in face became the key to unlocking the beauty of The Scourge. She also named the doll "Vonnie" after Siobhán who was known as Nana Von by her Grandchildren. She has an alternate life now and is another introverted socialite with a facebook page.  

Both of them are at their happiest alone with the dogs on a cliff. 

The Scourge premiered for 10 performances in Wexford Arts Centre and had a standing ovation at the Preview.

And on every subsequent night. 

Her performance was described as "incredible,  a hypnotic presence on stage, a gifted raconteur delivering 90 minutes of kalashnikov poetry in flames"

"I had to close my eyes to listen to the lilting cadences of the language" - Niall Cranny - Stage Director of An Gríanán Theatre 

It returned by popular demand for a short run during Wexford Festival Fringe and then did a nationwide tour incl Dublin Civic Theatre, AN Grianán in Donegal, Theatre Royal Waterford, and Visual Theatre Carlow as part of the First Fortnight International Theatre Festival in Jan. 2019. 

People left the theatre in an altered state. 

The Scourge was commissioned by Wexford Arts Centre supported by Artlinks award, and the production was supported by the Arts Council Ireland and Wexford County Council. 

It was directed by Ben Barnes, the acclaimed Theatre and Opera Director, and former Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre National Theatre Ireland. 

Michelle has been writing since she was a child and graduated from being Editor of her Presentation Convent School Newspaper - "The Democrat" to submitting to Hot Press, Irish Independant, In Dublin Magazine, and has written many articles, colour pieces and features for local press, was Features Editor on Slaney News, and is an Irish Times contributor. 

She has written a book of short stories to be published in 2020 and a memoir called"Get Out, Frank" She is working on the sequel to Scourged called "Diarium" and is writing her new One Woman Show called "DiViLSKiN" to be performed in Wexford in Spring 2020 on her return from the USA.  

She is being shadowed by the Film Maker in Manhattan as they capture the moments of the life of a scourge for the documentary "Shellshocked" which is an extraordinary recording filmed over 6 years 

Michelle has performed in Ted Talks about Alzheimers been a key note speaker for Carers and featured in multiple interviews and podcasts on RTE, Newstalk, Beat, KCLR, and South East Radio.

She was a recent guest Author at the Write By The Sea Literary Festival in Kilmore where the audience feedback about her filmed interview was astounding. 

The Scourge received 5 star reviews and was noted as Best In Theatre for the week in both The Irish Times and The Sunday Times.

 The Scourge had its International Premiere at the Origins 1st Irish Theatre Festival, Off Broadway, at The Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 West 22nd Street, New York, in January/February 2020.

 It received rave reviews from the critics and audience who shouted "Thank you!" as they clapped. 

".... Beautifully written and deeply personal.... Filled with rich imagery and luscious turns of Irish phrase" - THEATRE MANIA 

"DEEPLY MOVING.... THE SCOURGE IS A CAPTIVATING TRIBUTE TO THE HUMAN SPIRIT AND MAHON IS AN INTERNATIONAL TREASURE!" - TALKIN' BROADWAY 

 

" The Scourge, ... written and performed by Michelle Dooley Mahon and making its U.S. premiere at The Irish Repertory Theatre, not making time to see it would be a serious mistake. A deeply moving testament to the power of emotional resilience" - (Talkin Broadway)

 

"Each line of the play packs a powerful emotional and literary punch, and they collectively weave a tapestry depicting a woman of unstinting bravery in the face of her worst fears. The Scourge is also a raw but moving tribute to Ms. Mahon’s mother and her less than ideal life. It’s not always a pretty picture, but it’s a worthwhile ride and an authentic preview of what’s likely in store for most of us". (Interludes  - Viewpoints on The Scourge).

 

"The Scourge is a rich stew of many parts and each morsel is a distinct flavor bursting with the kind of self-truth and self-reflection that is universal to life. Michelle’s telling of her tale makes a banquet of story and a buffet of observation so that you’ll leave the theater satiated and carrying a huge bag of leftovers that will feed you in some form the rest of your life."

"The brutally honest self-observation, the wit, lilt, and poetry of her language is a draw that brings the audience into the over-stuffed wardrobe of Michelle and her experiences and lets the love that gets buried under the mess of life get exposed."

(The Front Row Center)

 

 

" Michelle Dooley Mahon is delightful, sad, funny, heroic and prophetic in a performance that moves and inspires us to be much more aware of the positives in grief."

(New York Irish Arts)

 

“The Scourge” is no less than a paean to her beloved mother, and the piece is rich with feeling, with a text that is often lyrical and even poetic. The striking looking Michelle Dooley Mahon strongly holds stage for the presentation (The Epoch Times)

 

“beautifully written and deeply personal… The 85-minute piece is filled with rich imagery and luscious turns of Irish phrase” (Theatremania)

Michelle was awarded a Special Jury Prize for her writing by judges Cynthia Darlow, Harry Haun, Kate Shea Kennon and Sadhbh Walshe

 "for her work as a Writer bringing under-exposed issues vital to women in contemporary Ireland to an International audience" 

 

She is blogging her essays about New York at shellakeypookey.blogspot.com 

 

 

 

 
 

 

@shellakeypookey on Twitter

Vonnie Dooley on Facebook 

Alzheimer Association of Ireland on Facebook 

www.shellakeypookey.blogspot.com

 

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Alzheimer Society

alzheimers

Michelle is an avid supporter of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

Her debut novel Scourged is based entirely on Michelle's own experience of caring for a Mother with Alzheimer's. 

The Alzheimer Society endorsed her book on their Facebook page and to Twitter followers mentioning that it had received international attention since its launch and quoting from it.

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Testimonials

""to Vincent, a lifetime of shared history and nostalgia " she wrote inside it, and it is. There's the Da whitewashing the wall and the blind man singing 'joy to the world' is my cousin Tommy, and ...

Vincent Byrne

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