This week sees the debut of ‘Walls and windows’ by Rosaleen McDonagh in the Abbey theatre. A play which tells the tale of a Traveler couple Julia and John Reilly as they navigate their way through 21st century Ireland. So for the third consecutive night, I took myself to the playhouse.
Before the play began, the artistic director of the Abbey, Caitríona McLaughlin, made an announcement. The character of Julia was meant to be portrayed by Sorcha Fox, but due to unforeseen circumstances, she would now be played by Sarah Morris who would be reading her part from the book. This was worrying – even with the best efforts and intentions of the actor stepping in at the last minute, this would surely damage the flow of the piece as it is thrown off kilter by the unavoidable inclusion of an unrehearsed actor?
The Abbey Theatre can be a magical place. Ireland’s national theatre has been my theatre of choice this year. In part because of its close proximity to my house. In part because of its ingenious scheme of offering free of charge first preview performances, many of which I have availed myself. In part because I feel like it belongs to the people of Dublin – being state funded. As a result I see almost everything that is staged at this playhouse. Last night I went to see ‘Drama at Inish’ – the tenth show I have seen on the main stage this year (along with a further six productions on the smaller Peacock Stage’.) Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Drama at Inish’→
When I read ‘Star of the sea’ by Joseph O’Connor earlier this century, I was astonished. That brilliant book concerned a murder committed on a coffin ship sailing from Famine-stricken Ireland to the New World. A semi-sequel ‘Redemption Falls’ was published some years later in 2007. I was in the American Book Center in Amsterdam on the day of release such was my anticipation. To my horror I loathed it – finding it turgid, incomprehensible and very, very dull. It was a huge disappointment – thankfully it was only a blip on O’Connor’s illustrious output and I loved his subsequent books ‘Ghost light’ and ‘The thrill of it all’. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Redemption Falls’→
Each year in Ireland there is an event called ‘Culture night’ – an evening where museums, galleries and exhibition spaces are open late, and free for all and sundry. Tonight was that night.
I am a lucky boy in the sense that I finish work at 4pm on a Friday and I live in the city centre. My last quarter of an hour at work was spent clicking on the website, to find cultural things to do on the way home.
The plan was simple. My bus stops at the top of O’Connell Street – I was going to try my luck at getting a backstage tour of the Gate Theatre, and mosey over to the Writers’ Museum to see if I could draw inspiration from other authors’ pain.
I arrived in town at 5pm. The lovely woman at the Gate box office told me that their event was starting at 7.30pm. Too late for my carcass. I wandered over and investigated the Writers’ Museum which was reasonably engaging.
Then I had a brainwave. I’d head towards the Customs’ House which – for one night only – was open to the public.