Brú’s show on Irish navvies has resonances for today


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Brú’s show on Irish navvies has resonances for today Brú’s show on Irish navvies has resonances for today

Not a Word, at the latest show from Galway’ s Brú Theatre Company, which will be staged during next month’s Galway International Arts Festival, explores the lives of Irish navvies in Britain – those emigrants who helped build that country.

It will run from Monday to Saturday, July 17-22 in the Bank of Ireland Theatre at the University of Galway and follows Brú’s successful 2021 Festival show, Ar Ais Arís.

Not a Word which is being presented by a company which has built a reputation for its physical theatre and use of masks and music, celebrates those men who took the boat, worked hard, often faltered and slowly faded from memory.  The show merges mask, music and movement as it seeks to uncover the beauty of the banal and the poetry between the concrete cracks, while drawing parallels with the current social landscape.

The migration of people and notion of home is an important contemporary topic and this production “will explore the connection between the then and the now”, according to Brú’s Artistic Director, James Riordan.

Performer and director Raymond Keane (Barabbas Theatre Company, Laethanta Sona) will perform Not a Word, with live electronic and traditional music from Ultan O’Brien (of the group Slow Moving Clouds). This ode to a self-exiled labourer, making his way in this small space between places, is directed by James Riordan with mask design by Brú’s long-time collaborator Orla Clogher. Not A Word invites audiences to sit with a silent man on another ordinary evening, his day’s labouring done, in a place that has never quite felt like home. This man plays a beautiful old tune as memory dances among his dirty boots and cherished trinkets.

The one-hour show, offering a portrait of one emigrant, echoes many people’s stories today, according to James. It’s is at 6pm daily, with matinees on Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22, at 1pm.

More information at


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