Simplicity the key to success in moving drama set in Claddagh

Waiting by the door in Cleite, a story from the past set in Claddagh's fishing community.
Waiting by the door in Cleite, a story from the past set in Claddagh's fishing community.

Cleite, a deceptively simple story, told beautifully and wordlessly by Philippa Hambly, backed by stunning sean-nós songs, in Irish and English from Caitlín Ní Chualáin was among the highlights of this year’s Galway Theatre Festival.

From Brú Theatre, a Galway based physical theatre company, Cleite, which was sensitively directed by James Riordan, was a site-specific piece set in a faithfully restored Claddagh cottage known as Katie’s Cottage. The audience of about 20 were reeled slowly into this story about a woman and her love for her fisherman husband, through clever use of mask, movement and feeling,

We stood outside and watched as she performed daily tasks outside her humble dwelling, washing clothes in a tin bath, and picking vegetables. Then, we were invited in to the spartan kitchen and settled on a bench that was set against the wall. We watched this woman, in her well-minded working clothes continue with her chores, polishing shoes, sweeping the flag floor, fixing fishing lines and nets, putting things away.

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