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High drama in store as Druid take on the Bard

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“The neighbourhood is gone to hell,” was the reaction from several locals when Druid Theatre moved into its Chapel Lane premises off Quay Street in the late 1970s.

And, says the company’s Artistic Director Garry Hynes happily, it will be “going to hell” again in May, when Druid present a specially commissioned, abridged production of Shakespeare’s History Plays in the ambitiously titled DruidShakespeare project.

Irish playwright Mark O’Rowe was the man tasked by Druid with reshaping Richard II, Henry IV (Parts 1 and 2), and Henry V, retaining their historic continuity but cutting them drastically for this endeavour. If performed in full, they would take more than a day, explains Garry, who is directing this new version.

The DruidShakespeare project, which has been in gestation for “five or six years”, may seem like an unusual one for the Galway company, but not so, according to Garry.

I don’t think there’s anybody working in theatre who doesn’t consider Shakespeare at one time or another. He is the most performed writer in the world,” she says. Druid has only ever tackled him once before in its 40-year history – with Much Ado about Nothing in 1981, but DruidShakespeare is totally different.

“It’s the history of our nearest neighbour, one that’s entwined with our own,” she says.

“In the context of history between Ireland and England and the difficult relationship between the countries, it’s a story of the making of a nation, and of kings and queens,” she adds. The plays, about the rise of England’s House of Lancaster cover events in that country from the late 1300s to the early 1400s, and were written by Shakespeare in the late 1500s. Ireland only features occasionally as a troublesome place, filled with uncouth and troublesome people, and a breeding ground for rebellion – a reflection of attitudes in the Elizabethan era, when Shakespeare was firing out his plays.

As for abridging the plays, Garry feels that’s perfectly reasonable.

“Shakespeare was first and foremost about theatre and actors and so he was about editing and shaping and chopping and changing,” she says.

Connacht Tribune

Free House provides a launch pad for Galway’s musical talent

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Turnstiles...providing a launching pad for themselves and others.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Back in the summer of 2019, a series of ticket-free, DIY gigs took place in a packed-out Club Áras na nGael on Dominick Street. Dubbed Free House, the nights breathed life into Galway’s local music scene and raised the profile of the featured acts – as well as that of the venue itself.

It began as a vehicle for punk four-piece Turnstiles who – largely through bass player Jake Tiernan – curated and performed in the events and, as they went from the strength to strength, so too did the project.

Now, as venues prepare to welcome fully-fledged gigs back, Free House is returning, with Jake and Turnstiles’ drummer Luke Mulliez facilitating the project.

Beginning this Friday with two surprise bands back in Áras na nGael, the plan is to stage an event every two weeks.

When they first occurred, the gigs were defined by their inclusivity as much as the quality of the acts that performed. It was all manner of artist in a venue that could host any type of gig-goer. The challenge now is to cultivate the same atmosphere in an ever-changing environment.

“I’ve had this fear that, even for the next year, everything is going to have to be super regulated and what was good about those gigs was that everything was unregulated,” Jake admits.

“The furthest I can see restrictions going is a capacity limit so if they say ‘a hundred people max’ then that’s fine. We could have a hundred free tickets and I think we could get the same atmosphere.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Stunning and David Kitt for free gigs in Ballinalsoe and Clifden

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The Stunning are playing Ballinasloe this Saturday night while David Kitt will be in Clifden next Friday, October 22.

The Stunning will take to the stage of Ballinasloe’s Town Hall Theatre this Saturday, October 16, night at 8pm to play hits such as including Brewing up a Storm, Half Past Two, Romeo’s on Fire, Heads are Gonna Roll and Brighten up my Life. Meanwhile David Kitt will be in Clifden next Friday, October 22, performing songs from his new album, 20.

These gigs are the fourth in the Ceol an tSamhraidh series of free live music events being presented by Galway County Council Art and Tourism Offices as part of the Government’s Local Live Performance Programming Scheme.

The Stunning were a force to be reckoned with in 1990s’ Ireland, when they played and toured continually, becoming one of the most successful homegrown bands ever. Their debut album, Paradise in The Picturehouse. spent five weeks at number one and became among the most popular Irish albums of all time. After seven years on the road, the band split. These days, the members still continue to pursue their own individual projects, but they also perform together regularly as the Stunning. And now that restrictions have eased, they’re ready for road.

Meanwhile, the Station House Theatre is the location for David Kitt’s debut Clifden show next weekend.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

John Behan – ‘blowing our hearts wide open’

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RTÉ's Bryan Dobson congratulates artist John Behan after officially opening his exhibition 'Shifting Ground' at the Kenny Gallery on Friday. Masks were worn for the event, only being removed for the speech and photographs. PHOTO: DEAN KELLY.

Shifting Ground, a new collection in bronze from sculptor John Behan, opened at the city’s Kenny Gallery last weekend, with RTÉs’ Bryan Dobson doing the honours and praising the artist’s work ethic and discipline as well as his talent.

The show reflects on Behan’s experience of living through the pandemic, while the renowned artist has also returned to his previous theme of Emigrants and created images inspired by the current refugee crisis, a subject he explored in his show, Migrants, which was shown in Kenny’s early in 2020, before Covid took hold.

John Behan has met and worked with refugees on various trips to Greece and Cyprus and their stories have found their way into his art alongside his Irish work, the Famine Ship, and Broighter Boat and Oar Boat series.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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