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Áine Stapleton

'Horrible Creature' Film

Áine Stapleton

'Horrible Creature' was available to watch on the closing day of the 2021 festival on the theme of 'Loneliness'.

In 1915, James Joyce and Nora Barnacle traveled with their young children Giorgio and Lucia to Switzerland to escape the turmoil of World War I. Lucia later trained as a dancer and performed throughout Europe. In the early 1930s she was forced into psychiatric care and underwent treatment at various hospitals across Europe. Horrible Creature is filmed at locations in Switzerland where Lucia spent time, including her primary school and psychiatric hospital. Here, Lucia’s own writing, interpreted by a cast of international dance artists, conjures her world between 1915 and 1950. The film fearlessly explores her difficult family life, her unproven illness, and her undoubted talent. 

Director, writer, choreographer, and producer: Áine Stapleton. 

Director of Photography: Will Humphris. 

Performers: Michelle Boulé, Céline Larrère, Sarah Ryan. 

Sound: David Best, Ed Chivers. 

Voiceover: Rebecca Warner, Aenne Barr. 

Costume: Ivan Moreno Bonica. Editor: José Miguel Jiménez. 

Sound mix: Kev Gleeson. 

Running time: 68 mins 

Funded by: The Arts Council. Partnered by Arts and Disability Ireland’s Connect New Work Award, Dance Ireland, The James Joyce Centre Dublin, The Embassy of Ireland in Switzerland. 

Interview with Film Ireland about the making of ‘Horrible Creature’ - 

“A stunning visual experience” Film Ireland 

“Visceral, sensory, vicarious, confusing, disturbing ... See it!” James Joyce Gazette Private

Curated in association with the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.  


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