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Legend gets modern twist in high-energy ‘Trickster’

Judy Murphy

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Richard Hickey of That's Life rehearsing for Trickster.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

It’s not a musical, it’s not a concert, it’s not a drama.‘Trickster” , a new show combining elements of all of these art forms as well as lots of special effects, will premiere at the City’s Black Box Theatre this Friday and Saturday.

Trickster is the work of Galway company That’s Life and UK based Mind the Gap, and it follows Odysseus, the hero of Greek mythology, on his long journey back home after the Battle of Troy.

That’s Life is a group people with intellectual disabilities who are involved in creating art as part of a programme run by the Brothers of Charity here in Galway.

Mind the Gap, meanwhile, is England’s largest learning disability theatre company, creating work for UK and international audiences. Its members include Jez Colborne, an actor and composer with a condition known as Williams Syndrome. This genetic condition causes cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning disabilities.  These occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music. And that is true of Jez, who could sing before he could talk and who has an absolute passion for all kinds of music.

Last autumn Mind the Gap applied for money from a new initiative, Ignite, which is funded by the Arts Councils, Arts and Disability Ireland, and various local authorities, including those in Galway. Ignite was set up to assist people with disabilities make new work, explains Claude Madec, one of That’s Life’s leaders.

The group’s application was successful, with one condition being that That’s Life would have to build relationships with potential partners, explains Claude. He had heard of Mind the Gap and was especially interested in Jez Colborne’s work. Claude made contact with Jez and, having got to know each other via Skype, they decided to pool their companies’ talent for a co-production here in Galway.

That is Trickster, which was inspired by Jez’s fascination with making music, using sirens, foghorns, cranes and all things industrial.

Then the pair needed a venue, so Claude approached Fergal McGrath of the Town Hall, who was “100 per cent behind us and became part of the partnership”.

That’s Life is a tiny company compared to Bradford based Mind the Gap, so initially the Galway artists “were a bit shy”. But with Fergal McGrath’s reassurance, they realised that they had their own skills and talent to bring to the table, skills which Mind the Gap were anxious to avail of.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Fresh outing for hit show Postcards from the Ledge

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Rory Nolan in Paul Howard's Postcards from the Ledge, directed by Jimmy Fay.

“The Rossmeister General is coming to your gaff! And lockdown isn’t going to stop me!”

That’s the warning from Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, aka Paul Howard, whose one-man show, Postcards from the Ledge, will be livestreamed this Saturday night, May 15, with tickets available from Galway’s Town Hall Theatre.

The popular show, presented by Landmark Theatre, directed by Jimmy Fay, and starring Druid regular Rory Nolan as the South Dublin alacadoo will also be available on demand until Sunday, May 23.

The action is set in 2029 as Ireland enjoys yet another economic boom. Ross is about to turn 50 – and life couldn’t be sweeter. His wife, Sorcha, is Taoiseach. His triplet boys are the backbone of the Castlerock College Junior Cup team. And he’s still doing ok with the ladies. But trouble is around the corner as Ross’s daughter, Honor, is about to get married.

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly began life in the-now defunct Sunday Tribune newspaper more than 20 years ago and Paul Howard’s creation has since become familiar to readers of Saturday’s Irish Times thanks to his column in that paper.

Paul has also written several critically acclaimed series of books based on Ross that satirised Ireland during the boom and bust.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Irish poets centre stage in Druid’s new Coole series

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Tommy Tiernan, who kicks off the poetry series with The Echo at Coole by Austin Clarke.

Druid’s Coole Park Poetry series, which began last year, will continue this month with a series of 10 new short films featuring the work of poets Austin Clarke, Patrick Kavanagh, Thomas Kinsella, Séamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin, Eavan Boland, Paul Durcan, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Paula Meehan.

The poems, which will premiere online from next Wednesday, May 19, will be read by Tommy Tiernan, Aaron Monaghan, Seán McGinley, Marty Rea, Brian Doherty, Venetia Bowe, Jade Jordan, Andrew Bennett, Rory Nolan, Marie Mullen and Clare Dunne.

A new film will be released weekly and all are free to view on the YouTube channels of Druid and the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation. The films were shot by Matthew Thompson in Cooke Park, and the project was made with the support of the US-based Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation.

The poems are  The Echo at Coole by Austin Clarke, The Hospital by Patrick Kavanagh, Another September by Thomas Kinsella, an excerpt from Station Island by Seamus Heaney, A Disused Shed in County Wexford by Derek Mahon, The Architectural Metaphor by Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin, The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Eavan Boland, Tullynoe: Tête-à-Tête in the Parish’s Priest’s Parlour by Paul Durcan, Cathleen by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and This is not a confessional poem by Paula Meehan.

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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Connacht Tribune

Enda’s pictures show lockdown in new light

Judy Murphy

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Enda's parents Michael and Denise were happy to collaborate on the lockdown project, a mix of the nostalgic and the surreal as can be seen from this photo, Milkshakes.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

A photography project born out of lockdown and filled with colour, nostalgia, an odd touch of grime and a few Catholic icons, has won a major award for Galway artist Enda Burke. The show, Homebound with my Parents is now going on display at the popular Coffeewerk and Press café exhibition space in Galway City’s Quay Street.

Enda, from Mervue in the city, normally specialises in outdoor story-based photography, but when lockdown took hold early last year there wasn’t much happening outside, so he turned his gaze closer to home. He was living with his parents, Michael and Denise, at the time and decided to make them the central figures of a Covid-19 photo series.

Enda took all the photos using a 35mm film camera but before he picked it up, he drew each scene out on a sketchbook.

Then, he built theatre-style sets in his parents’ house to create a variety of tableaux in which Denise and Michael feature, together or individually, as protagonists. The backgrounds include a range of vivid wallpaper, holy pictures and old-fashioned televisions. Vintage radios and mirrors as well as jigsaws, tins of beans and dodgy clothing also feature.

The images he creates invite the viewers to build stories around them – and while the settings are domestic, they’re surreal too.

In one photo, Michael is working out – only he isn’t. In another, Denise is at a table, holding a cigarette while eating a packet of Tayto and reading a book. There’s a plate of beans and an ashtray filled with butts on the table. It “has that element of grime in it”, says Enda. Like the others, it’s also quirky and kitsch.

Michael and Denise are both creative: he writes short stories and she’s into interior design and colour, says Enda. His photography marries both these talents, creating dramas in a colourful, surreal environment.

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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