Date Published: 15-Jun-2011
It’s 3.30pm Irish time and it’s 10.30am in Charleston, South Carolina where actress Clare Dunne is having a well-earned morning rest.
The previous day she performed in two showings of Martin McDonagh’s play, The Cripple of Inshmaan with Druid Theatre Company, as part of a major tour of America.
Clare is playing Slippy Helen in The Cripple which began its American tour in February and will wrap up the visit with a trip in New Haven on June 19.
Then the play – which was inspired by Robert O’Flaherty’s visit to Aran in 1934 to make the famous film Man of Aran – returns to Ireland, where its destinations include Galway city and Inis Meáin.
The Inis Meáin visit marks the final stop on the company’s five-month tour of the dark comedy with its central character of Cripple Billy, a disabled boy whose aim in life is to reach Inis Mór and take part in O’Flaherty’s film.
As is common in McDonagh’s plays, there is a cast of comic characters, including local gossip Johnny Pateen Mike, and of course Slippy Helen, the sadistic girl next door who torments Billy when she isn’t ‘pegging eggs’ at people who annoy her.
These characters are capable of seemingly meaningless acts of small cruelty, which is what gives McDonagh’s work such an edge.
The Cripple of Inishmaan is Clare’s third play with Druid – not a bad achievement given that the Dublin actress has only been working professionally for two years, since graduating from the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
“Druid gave me my professional debut, she says, explaining that the company’s casting director Maureen Hughes auditioned her in 2009 and immediately said “you’d be a great Pegeen Mike”.
Druid’s Artistic Director Garry Hynes agreed, casting her in a revival of The Playboy of the Western World after hearing Clare read the role for a few minutes. Straight out of college, Clare appeared in Playboy, touring Ireland and the UK in 2009
Taking on such a major role with a company of Druid’s stature might have been daunting, especially since the rehearsal period was very short, but it was also a great opportunity for Clare.
“It was a bit mental,” she laughs.”I didn’t have an agent then, but I got one out of that.”
And although she has had short periods of unemployment for a few months here and there since, she has also worked with Druid on The Silver Tassie (playing Susie Monican) as well as with the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London on several productions including Chekov’s The Three Sisters and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.