Stand Still & Look Stupid - Written by Mike Broemmel & Starring Emily Ebertz
Stand Still & Look Stupid, the life story of Hedy Lamarr, was the only foreign official theatrical presentation at the iconic Féile an Phobail or Festival of the People in 2019. Féile an Phobail is the largest arts festival in Ireland and has been held in Belfast for over a generation.
Féile an Phobail was established in 1988 as a direct response to the conflict in the north of Ireland.
Its purpose was to celebrate the positive side of the community, its creativity, its energy, its passion for the arts, and for sport. It furthermore aimed to provide events and entertainment at a price that the majority of the community could afford. In August 1988 the first Féile opened with a relatively humble parade of floats, bands and GAA clubs walking in their club regalia to an open-air party in Dunville Park. Street parties were organised throughout the West. Door-to-door collections were made to fund day trips to the seaside for pensioners and outings for young people.
Soon the street confrontations associated with the week around August 9th were displaced by a positive display of the community and its creativity. The August Féile has proved a resounding success, growing from strength to strength and inspiring other troubled areas to organise similar festivals. Our carnival parade routinely brings thousands of participants for a colourful, musical procession with specially-designed floats representing a chosen theme, dancers and children in costume and face masks. Féile an Phobail has grown from a one-week festival to being the largest community arts festival in Ireland with a year round programme of events.
In 2019, the Festival included Emily Ebertz in Stand Still & Look Stupid, written by Mike Broemmel. The incredible play tells the tale of the incomparable life of inventor and actor Hedy Lamarr.
Oftentimes plays are nothing more than entertainments. Stand Still & Look Stupid is not only highly entertaining but also educational and inspiring. This is a primary reason why this life story of Hedy Lamarr is being performed on the international stage.
She was dubbed "the most beautiful woman in the world" - but never received the recognition she deserved for an invention that formed the basis for mobile phones.
The remarkable life of 1940s Hollywood 'bombshell' Hedy Lamarr will be dramatized in a play by award-winning playwright Mike Broemmel over the next five nights in a new Belfast studio space as part of the Féile an Phobail festival.
Stand Still and Look Stupid will tell the story of how Austrian-born Lamarr - whose face was used to inspire Walt Disney's original Snow White - fled her home in 1937 as well as her husband, who was supplying arms to Hitler, to become a movie star and fervent anti-Nazi.
Filming by day, she spent her evenings at her drawing board trying to find a way to help the Allies win the war.
The enigmatic actress, who was married six times and had a colourful private life, created a device that allowed 'radio hopping' and developed a secret communications system - one that would lay the foundation for most of the world's secure systems, including military satellites and wi-fi.
The one-woman play features American actress Emily Ebertz and is being hosted by Belfast Exposed Photography co-founder Sean McKernan in his new studio in the city's Chapel Lane - that was once a newspaper's 'darkroom' during the Troubles.
Produced by a Colorado-based theatre company that stages plays in 'non traditional spaces', a question and answer session will follow each performance.