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Galway Bay FM News Archives

All-male Propeller Theatre return with Shakespearian ‘soap operas’

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Date Published: 29-Jun-2011

A fascinating soap opera of a family bickering,” is how theatre director Edward Hall describes Richard III, which his company Propeller will be performing at this year’s Galway Arts Festival.

This is the second Galway visit by the all-male Propeller Company, which made its Arts Festival debut two years ago with The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“We had such an enjoyable time the last time,” he says, “it felt like people watching it received what we had done just for what it was, with no preconceptions.”

Propeller has a track record of pairing Shakespeare’s plays, performing a comedy and a tragedy in repertory, which they will be doing at the Arts Festival, when Richard III is staged alongside The Comedy of Errors.

“I started pairing plays a while ago, mostly out of artistic interest and also, doing two plays by the same writer means you get better at doing it,” says Edward.

This immersion in Shakespeare is fascinating process for both director and performers.

“It’s not the similarities but the differences you notice. That’s the extraordinary thing. With these two, you hardly think it’s the same writer,” he muses.

While Edward uses the word ‘bickering’ to describe the family strife in Richard III, the term barely begins to do justice to Richard’s antics.

Richard III was the last king of the House of York. He was killed in 1845 during the War of the Roses, leading to the reign of the Tudors.

A hunchback with a limp who was scorned for his deformities, he became king after a murderous campaign which saw him kill his brother, nephews and several other family members.

It is a play which delves deep into English history, but says Edward Hall, it’d be a mistake to think that English people are more knowledgeable about the story than audiences from anywhere else. In any case, you don’t need the back story.

“All you need to know is that he is a bad guy and if the audience don’t know that, they soon will.”

People will also “recognise the politics, the greed, the ironies and you are horrified at the violence and the almost charmingly awful way Richard orchestrates it all”.

But while Richard is a baddie, it’s not all black and white.

“In the last part of the play, he dies like a warrior and there’s a curious heroism about the last part of the play for me,” says the director, adding that it’s not for nothing that some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines, “a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse”, are from that heroic moment.

Edward points out that Shakespeare was writing this play under the reign of the Tudor queen, Elizabeth I and so, he had to portray Richard III as a villain.

“But he gave him a hump and a limp and had him murder everybody, and then had him die a hero, so . . . ,” he reasons that Shakespeare didn’t really see it as a black and white story either.

Propeller premiered this double bill in January in Sheffield, when the highly visual productions, complete with music and masks, were lauded. The Daily Telegraph described Richard III as ‘a tour de force’ praising its “OTT relish for bloody gore” and its “intelligent, witty” interpretation. But it didn’t come easy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.

It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.

Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores

This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.

However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.

That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.

The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing

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Date Published: 13-May-2013

Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.

Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.

He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.

Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.

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