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.
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.