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Humour and humanity in ‘Waiting for Godot’

Judy Murphy

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Garett Lombard who plays Lucky and Marty Rea who plays Vladimir in Druid's forthcoming production of Waiting for Godot.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

The words ‘belly-laugh’ and Samuel Beckett aren’t often found in the same sentence, but actors Marty Rea and Garret Lombard insist that he’s one of the funniest The words ‘belly-laugh’ and Samuel Beckett aren’t often found in the same sentence, but actors Marty Rea and Garret Lombard insist he’s one of the funniest writers writers going the roads.

Going the roads is what they’ll be doing next month in Druid’s production of Waiting for Godot, which is being staged in Druid Lane Theatre for this year’s Galway International Arts Festival.

Beckett’s famous play centres on two characters Vladimir and Estragon, who wait endlessly for the Godot of the title. At various points they are joined by another pair, Lucky and Pozzo, slave and master.  And there’s a boy who promises that Godot will come ‘tomorrow’.

The interaction between the men is bizarre and absurd and this play, which was first produced in 1953, heralded a new type of theatre, while Beckett and his works have provided fodder for academics ever since.

But for Marty and Garret, the humanity and humour of Godot are what makes it special. They feel these elements can be forgotten amid all the academic studies.

Marty, who is playing Vladimir and Garret as Lucky, are currently in week two of rehearsals alongside fellow Druid ensemble members, Rory Nolan (Pozzo) and Aaron Monaghan (Estragon).

They say audiences should be in for belly laughs as well as darker moments in this production.

The darkness in Waiting for Godot is based on uncertainty, Marty feels. “You don’t know why you feel so despairing, but the comedy is more present and direct, way more than I thought.”

Vladimir and Estragon are an old-style comedy act in the vein of Laurel and Hardy he adds, as he quotes another Irish actor, Lorcan Cranitch.

Cranitch, who was in a production of Godot in London, decided to bring his seven-year-old son to see it but someone suggested it wouldn’t be suitable for the child.  Cranitch replied that it would “because you have one clown who can’t get his boot off and another who is dying for a piss”. Put like that, you can see the appeal.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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