Irish Farmers’ Journal

‘My Farming Week: Sophie Motley’

4th September 2012

Sophie Motley isn’t an easy person to get a hold of at the moment. The hard-working director only just manages to squeeze in an interview with Country Living in between preparing for the debut of Farm, a new play focusing on the rural life.

“It’s been a great experience so far, but it’s very full on,” she says. “At the moment, I’m rehearsing during the day and meeting with Macra groups at night.”

Sophie is hoping to get members of Macra in Dublin involved in Farm as it focuses specifically on what happens when rural and urban life converge.

Through her play, she hopes to express how important agriculture is to Ireland.

“A lot of people in the city find farming hard to understand,” she explains. “They don’t know where their food comes from. In fact, most people are only a few generations from the land. Many also don’t notice that farming is going to rescue the country from recession.”

Sophie is originally from a small village in Shropshire in the UK, where she was a member of the Young Farmers Club. She moved to Ireland at the age of 18 from college.

“I’ve been living in Ireland for the last 10 years,” she says. “I came here to study English and Drama in Trinity College in Dublin. But before moving to Ireland, I used to spend most of my summer holidays in Kilkenny.”

She lived in Dublin for a ocuple of years after finishing college before decideing on a move to the country. Sophie now lives on a farm in Manor Kilbridge, Co. Wicklow.

“I just wanted to move away from the city and live in the countryside again,” she says. “I always found it strange going home to a city after growing up in a small rural village in England. Wicklow is brilliant though, because you have the best of both worlds, living in the countryside and being so near to Dublin.”

Her fascination with rural life was the main inspiration behind the play.

‘It’s an amazing way of life. There are some great stories about living on the farm in this play,” she says. “All the farmers have been absolutely amazing. The play is made up of all their real stories and all the words used are their own.”

Sophie says the play highlights all aspects of farming in Ireland, “whether you work in the countryside or on an allotment.”

As well as the traditional farmers, we also have a bee-keeper and people who own allotments. Some of these people are actually from the city,” adds Sophie.

“It goes to show that people are going back to the land and are realising that they can make a living from it. Farm also highlights other issues, such as succession. We’re unearthing everything.”