Date Published: 24-Mar-2011
MacKenzieRo, the Irish Repertory Theatre Company of Canada, will make their Irish debut next week at Druid Lane Theatre with four performances of their acclaimed production of bedbound by Enda Walsh. The play will run from Wednesday next, March 30 to Saturday, April 2.
It’s a fitting visit, given that Druid Theatre has such a strong connection with Enda Walsh. In fact the relationship between the Galway and Toronto theatre companies developed because of their shared passion for his plays.
Druid visited Canada in 2009 to perform The Walworth Farce. There they met Cathy Murphy and Autumn Smith, the founders and artistic directors of MacKenzieRo, who had presented Walsh’s Disco Pigs in 2007 before doing bedbound.
“Then we went to New York to see Druid perform New Electric Ballroom,” explains Cathy. There, she and Autumn got chatting to Druid’s General Manager Tim Smith and to Enda Walsh
“We all agreed we should come over to Ireland and do something,” says Cathy. “It might seem strange for a Canadian company to do an Enda Walsh play in Ireland, but we want to show how Enda’s plays related to Canadians and not just to the Irish diaspora. It cuts across geography.”
In bedbound a father and a daughter share a small bed. He talks frantically about his extraordinary past in furniture sales; she talks no less compulsively about anything at all, to fill the terrifying silence in her head. This feverish and blackly comic play offers a beautifully judged glimpse of redemption.
The Toronto press raved about MacKenzieRo’s 2009 Canadian premiere of bedbound, which is directed by Autumn and features Cathy as the polio stricken Daughter, with Canadian theatre legend Richard Greenblatt in the role of Father.
Sensibly the pair decided that MacKenzieRo’s actors would perform bedbound using their own accents rather than trying to imitate Irish accents because “we couldn’t do it”, says Cathy.
This production offers Galway audiences a rare chance to see Walsh’s much lauded play, which received its world premiere at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2000, when it was directed by the playwright, before going on to win an Edinburgh Fringe First Award in 2001. It’s also a chance to see MacKenzieRo – which CBC News in Canada described as "Walsh’s biggest champion in Canada" – perform internationally for the first time.
MacKenzieRo came into being because Autumn and Cathy, both of whom are second generation Irish, wanted to bring contemporary Irish theatre, which wouldn’t normally be seen in Canada, to audiences in that country. It’s named after Autumn’s ancestors, who came from Fermanagh.
The pair also want to produce new Canadian work with a nod to the Irish-Canadian connection.
As part of that, they are bringing their own play Teacht i dTír – written in Irish and English – to Galway for a performance at the city’s Scoil Iognáid.
That play, about the 38,000 famine refugees who came to Toronto in 1847, is based on the Toronto and Ontario records of the time and shows how the Irish refugees more than doubled Toronto’s population in a few months.
Cathy and Autumn – both of whom speak basic Irish – are looking forward to seeing the students perform the work bilingually.
And a developing work from MacKenzieRo, The Rake’s Progress: Do You Know Where Tom Rakewell Is?, will also be read at Druid Lane Theatre on April 2 with a cast of Irish and Canadian actors.
Meanwhile, bedbound will be performed in Druid Theatre from Wednesday, March 30 to Saturday, April 2 at 8pm nightly. Booking at
The Town Hall Theatre: www.tht.ie or Telephone
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.