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Short-story writer Seamus turns his hand to theatre

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Galway author, Seamus Scanlon.

Galway City writer Seamus Scanlon, whose short-collection As Close as you’ll Ever Be was published in 2013, has more recently being enjoying success as a dramatist.

His new work, The McGowan Trilogy was staged at this year’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival in New York, running over 16 nights. It won the awards for Best Actress, Best Director and Best Design at this event, dedicated to Irish theatre.

The central character in the Trilogy is Victor M McGowan, a Galwegian with a penchant for guns, puns, the pogo, and the Victor comic.

The first of the plays, Dancing at Lunacy, is set in Belfast where a court martial goes wrong. The second, The Long Wet Grass is set in Co Mayo, when Victor follows his inflexible rulebook to his detriment, and Boys Swam before Me is based in Galway.  In it, Victor visits his mother and learns some disturbing facts.

The Trilogy explores topics including dementia, loyalty, redemption and IRA and domestic violence.

As with his prose, Seamus’s plays contain dark humour, violence and local references. Lord Haw Haw, James Joyce, Nora Barnacle and Rahoon Cemetery are mentioned alongside The Man from Uncle, The Titanic, Lugers, Colts, Geronimo and Coelacanths.

Seamus is only the second Galway-born playwright to feature in 1st Irish Festival in New York (now in its seventh year). The other was Geraldine Aron.

The Trilogy was staged at the cell theatre, which “incubates new works in a collaborative process and takes risks”, says Seamus. “They took a big risk on me and it worked. I was involved with all stages of the rehearsals and production, and doing rewrites everyday for four weeks. The dedication of the cast and crew was magnificent”.

Irish-born Paul Nugent played Victor in the Trilogy, while Anna Nugent (Paul’s wife) played The Woman in The Long Wet Grass, for which she won the Festival’s Best Actress Award. The director of the Trilogy Kira Simring won Best Director

Seamus, who lives in New York, is currently in writers’ retreat in Southern France where he is working on his novel, Black Coelacanths.

Galway based publisher Arlen House has published an edition of the Trilogy script, which is available in Dubray Books, Charlie Byrne’s and Kenny’s Bookshops.

CITY TRIBUNE

Pádraig Jack in concert to launch new single

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Padraig Jack

After a busy summer touring Ireland and the UK with Sharon Shannon, singer-songwriter Pádraig Jack returns to Galway City’s Crane Bar this Friday, November 15 to launch his new single Minnie.

The artist from the Aran Islands writes and sings folk, Celtic and adult contemporary songs on guitar in English and Irish. He is the son of ground-breaking Irish language songwriter Barry Ronan and his maternal aunt is the poet Mary O’Malley.

Up to now, he has mostly released songs in the Irish language. Minnie, the first single from Padraig’s debut album is bilingual but predominantly in English. The album was recorded in London by renowned producer John Reynolds (Sinéad O’Connor, Damien Dempsey and Indigo Girls)and is due for release in 2020.

Padraig Jack has already opened shows for The Saw Doctors, Donal Lunny, Mick Flannery, The 4 of Us, John Spillane and Sharon Shannon, and has appeared at the Westport Bluegrass Festival, SOMA in County Down, Shorelines in Portumna, Skibbereen Arts Festival and Electric Picnic. Padraig has received numerous Gradaim NÓS nominations in the award ceremony that celebrates contemporary music in Ireland and has won second prize at the Pan Celtic National Song Contest.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Choral Society Christmas Concert

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Members of the NUI Galway Choral Society.

The NUIG Choral Society wil present its annual Christmas Concert in St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church on Wednesday next, November 20, starting at 8pm Guests will include the Decibels, the Testostertones and the NUIG staff choir.

The NUIG Choral Society was founded to promote singing in the college and hosts members with an interest in singing. Consisting of Irish and Erasmus students, and ever-evolving, it’s un-auditioned and talented. Over the years, the choir has taken part in choral competitions throughout the country including the Sligo International Choral Festival and the Cork International Choral Festival. And every year, members perform at the Relay for Life in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.

■ The event will be recorded live.  Tickets are €5 from NUIG Socs Box and Evenerite.ie, and €7 on the door.

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CITY TRIBUNE

London award for Galway film

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Cumar – A Galway Rhapsody has won the Best Documentary Award at the 2019 Irish Film Festival London

The film, which premiered at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh,  was made by Aodh Ó Coileáin of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway.

Irish Film London hosts the annual festival, which is now in its ninth year. It runs from next Wednesday, November 20, until Sunday, November 24. Founder and director of Irish Film London Kelly O’Connor outlined the reason for awarding the prize to Cumar.

“We really loved the film and think it will become a long-standing document of the intrinsic essence and influence of Galway.”

Cumar – A Galway Rhapsody examines the influence of Galway City and Connemara on seven artists working across a range of discipline. It also focuses on the impact og these artists’ work on the area where they live.

The artists featured are musician/composer Máirtín O’Connor; poet and playwright Rita Ann Higgins; novelist Mike McCormack; Macnas Artistic Director Noeline Kavanagh; singer songwriter Róisín Seoighe; visual artist Pádraic Reaney, and comedian, Tommy Tiernan.  The film is scored by Galway composer Jake Morgan while Galway Street Club make a guest appearance with their own brand of music.

Cumar – A Galway Rhapsody was conceived and directed by Aodh Ó Coileáin who is Programme Director of the MA (Cleachtas Gairniúil sna Meáin) and also teaches on the BA (Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge) programmes at NUI Galway’s Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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