Actor Packy Lee couldn’t make it to Hollywood for the Oscars. He was too busy rehearsing for his latest play ‘Shoot the Crow’ which lands at the Millennium Forum this week.
As a cast member on short film ‘The Shore’ he did have an invite, but instead had to settle for watching the glitz and drama unfold from home in Belfast. He was, however, blown away when a short clip of the movie, featuring his own performance, was shown for the millions of people watching the Awards ceremony.
“What actor doesn’t dream of that?” he said. “To have a clip of you acting shown at the Oscars. It was an amazing moment.” The moment was, of course, followed by the even greater moment when the movie scooped the award for best short film, bringing the iconic statuette back to Northern Ireland.
“It was just brilliant. We filmed the movie over six days - on a very low, almost non existant budget. It was a long shoot - the days were split. We filmed from 5 in the morning til around noon, then we were back again at around 5 in the evening til midnight so we could get the shore just right.
“It felt like a lot longer than six days! But we were made to feel very welcome by the locals and by director Terry George’s family and friends.
“We never imagined it would get the recognition it did. When it was shortlisted from 200 entries to ten we thought that was enough. We never dreamed it would go further and then when it made it down to the nominations we were over the moon. We could hold our heads high at that - we never expected it go any further but all of a sudden there was I at three in the morning in a mate’s house watching myself on the Oscars and seeing the trophy get lifted.
Packy got a chance to get his hands on the famous statuette last week saying it was “an extraordinary moment” and confirming that yes “they are very heavy”. With two of the gongs (one for the producer and one for the director of the piece) Packy said they “would make for a great work out”.
With the Oscar glory still fresh in his mind, Packy has a busy few months ahead of him, including of course his tour with Shoot the Crow, reprising a role he first played in the West End seven years ago.
He describes the play as a “heist comedy” - explaining the plot: “Essentially it’s a play about ordinary working men and what happens on one extraordinary day.
“They get the chance to try and make a extra few pound and they try to take it not knowing that someone else is after the money as well.”
What is most appealing about the play, Packy says, is how it explores the relationships we all have with the people we work with. “You can’t choose who you work with,” he said, “and often we can spend more time with them than our own families. It’s a very funny play - very real and down to earth - and one most people will be able to relate with on some level.”
Shoot the Crow is written by Owen McCafferty, one of Ireland’s most famed contemporary playwrights, who said:
“Our relationship with work is a complex one – we often hate it because it steals our time yet we also know we can’t do without it.”
Shoot the Crow will be at the Millennium Forum on Thursday and Friday of this week.
For more information and to book tickets visit www.millenniumforum.co.uk or call 028 7126 4455. Please note the play contains strong language.