Galway Advertiser 1990/1990_11_08/GA_08111990_E1_036.pdf 

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Galway Advertiser 1990/1990_11_08/GA_08111990_E1_036.pdf

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Footsbarn's Magicial "Dream





Anybody interested in literature will find plenty to savour in Salmon Publishing's forthcoming list of November titles which comprises as im aginative a poetic menu as you could possibly hope for. Three new collections of poetry are due out this month, following hot on the heels of last month's publication of collections by Mary O'Donnell and Sam Bumside . First up, on November 16th, is the debut collection from Mary O'Malley , en titled "A Consideration of Silk". Mary has just been nominated for a Sunday Tribune/Hennessey the 2nd Members of Footsbarn Travelling Theatre Company whose "A Literary Award for George successive year. Midsummer Night's Dream" is playing to packed houses in Galway this MacBeth has greeted this volume as "the first salvo week from a poet who is going to Having seen Footsbarn's previous pro which produces such col matter". November 23rd sees the ductions of "Hamlet"," King Lear", and ourful effects, and, throughout, the powerful "Macbeth", and recalling the liberties this ly sensitive music both add launch of "The Betrayal", by Michael D. Higgins highly imaginative company took with the an extra dimension to the with drawings by Mick Mulcaby . Michael D.'s text, what they've done with play. all happens with Shakespeare's most magical play - "A a And iterected within a poems are full of passion, tent wit and honesty, and are Midsummer Night's Dream" - comes as building, so that both self-exploratory and no surprise. The combination of Footsbarn's own distinc concerned with this coun Footsbarn's artistic originality and tive atmosphere is power try of ours in all its con fully conveyed, with actors tradictions and complex glorious opportunities provided by the coming and going from all ities. Michael D.'s style Bard at his most delightfully enchanting directions and levels, has been described as both out to and make for a wonderful night's reaching audience. and " v i g o r o u s " through the The "immediate". entertainment. main stage is at once the On November 30th wood and the palace. The Salmon launch "The Hen As the "Dream" un beck and call of his most mesmeric sight is the Ark" by Mark Roper . folds, one becomes more master, Oberon. As the flower-shaped prop which, and more enthralled by the play concludes, we are still Born in Derbyshire but liv when lit up, opens as a bed delicious blend of mirth hoping for Puck's beautiful ing in Waterford since closing lines - "If we for Bottom and Titania. and laughter, of the 1980, Mr. Roper has been Add to this the masks and mischievous fairy world shadows have offend published widely. His contrasted with that other ed/Think but this, & all is costumes, all so suitably poems light up some of the colourful, and so master dark corners of history world of the human mended/That you have ful. players, and the interac but slumber'd here/While and of our own day in tion of the one upon the these visions did appear" Footsbarn's "Dream" language that's both sen but instead Puck just other. The play really is a production to be suous and original. becomes, as things go on, comes on stage and quen remembered. It's on Rita Ann Higgins' a candle! truly "midsummer ches tonight, tommorrow night, poems are also about to go Dramatically effective, madness". and finishes on Saturday. into their third reprint, and Though it starts on a but you can't help missing Make sure you see it! Rita herself is shortly to be rather sombre note with the poetry. It should be the subject of a special said, however, that though Egeus, father of Hermia, an tSiur Ailbhe/J.O'C. RTE "Booklines". the poetry is somewhat complaining to Duke Finally, November will Theseus about his clipped, one is carried also see the appearance of daughter, whom he says is along by the consistent ex the 9th anniversary issue of the "bewitched" by Lysander, cellence of Salmon Magazine, performance. and will not follow his wish which now enjoys sales of What of the nine actors that she wed Demetrius, 1,000 per issue with an ex soon, with the appearance who play so many dif tensive international of the "rude mechanicals, ferent roles? There's a subscription list. Bottom and Co., the fun tremendous amount of starts! Indeed the three vitality and vigour as they rustics (as against the romp and roam - Bottom original text's six) who've and his crew, the fairies, Pegasus Theatre Com arrived to rehearse their and particularly the little pany will host their annual own play, provide much of dwarf-like one who looks One-Act Festival in Claren the laughter as they add to so winsome. There are Community Hall on Shakespeare's own words many magical moments, Children's Book Week November 9th and 10th. some pretty choice ones of as when Oberon, lying Anna Manahan returns to takes place in Galway Ci stretched out comfortably their own! the town to judge from a ty Library from 9th to 17th The main setting of the on high, delivers the most wide and varied pro November play is the wood near beautifully poetic lines in g r a m m e , with one-act November. The Library is Athens, where Hermia and the play, particularly the plays from Kiltimagh's organising a week of Lysander flee, only to unforgettable passage Whitethorn Theatre Co.; events and competitions, including an a r t and meet up again with beginning "I know a bank the Corofin Drama Group; where the wild tyme everybody they thought Dublin's Matrix Drama poetry/short story com they'd left behind. And it's grows". Titania has the Group - these on Friday. petition, a Fancy Dress here that we see the fairy poise of a queen even as And on Saturday, contribu parade on Friday, table world in action, in par she caresses Bottom, tions from the Kilkee quizzes on Tuesday and ticular Oberon, King of the wearing his ass's head. Drama Group; the Thursday, a library treasure hunt on Friday, Fairies, and Titania, his The four lovers, bedevilled Belturbet Drama Group; by Puck, are driven hither Queen. Then of course the Northwest A.I.B. and a Chess Competition there is the mischevious and thither, and Theseus Drama Group; and which is one of the most popular events - this year Puck, one of and Hippolyta brings it all Terenure Theatre Co. it's on Wednesday at 3 Shakespeare's most to a graceful close in the Two nights of great palace in Athens. delightful creations. entertainment, beginning p.m. In addition, there'll There is certainly a Footsbarn's treatment on Friday night at 8.30 be storytelling every mor of Puck is perhaps the touch of magic in p.m., and on Saturday at ning at 11.30 a.m. by Chris Curley, Rebecca Bartlett. most difficult to accept. So Footsbarn's production 7.30 p.m. You might want Margaret Geraghty. Peter poetical in Shakespeare's As with their previous to keep in mind that Satur and Little John. text, here he is entirely outings with Shakespeare, day's plays arr for adults Cowman,and teachers are silent, apart from making plays you thought you only and no children will Parents being asked to encourage s a n e strange noises, but, knew well are literally be admitted. children to come to the for the most part, transformed before your library and join in the fun. acrobatically running eyes, and become new hither and thither at the creations. The lighting

Reading the Sunflowers in September Traveling Wilburys 3: Mary O'Donnell Watching the Marshes-Sam Burnside Well, they're back! And though it's inevitable that "Reading the Sunflowers in September" by Mary O'Donnell and Sam Burnside's "Watching the M a r s h e s " are both characterised by a meticulous attention to the details of experience. Both show a firm control of their material, and, unlike some contemporary verse, a respect for poetic form. A quality of restraint belongs to both poets, and this makes their poetry not on ly accessible but, at the same time, all the more challenging.
Mary O'Donnell's poems explore some of the painful reaches of ex perience, as in "Cot Death" where the after math of discovery - "No flutter from her eyelashes/that always quivered/like down on a young bird,/and I knew how her nostrils/the pinkedged membranes,/were inhabited by death" mingles with a sense of guilt almost too painful to acknowledge - "I will always wonder if/those matrons who shun me lest/I conjure a changeling to their doors,/are not cor rect, I will wonder/if I in voked some blood-curdling sprite/to suffocate the child before she/suffocated me." Another poem, "The Old Physician", enacts a visit to the doctor, with the terror of what may be revealed diffused only by the rituals of casual conversation. Her grasp of nature im agery is sure. In "Herald", there are some beautiful lines made all the more impressive because of their simplicity: "birchleaves like lanterns./black hedges festooned with rain". There is a great deal more of this clear observa tion in this fine collection. One of the most in teresting poems, "Histories" explores the question of Irish identity, ccontrasting the "casual abundance" of Europe's legacy - "stuccoed ceilings, frescoed facades", "the symmetries of a Gothic arch/The perfect clocks in German cathedrals" - with Ireland - "an after thought/of recent history". The third poem in the se quence is the most im pressive, lamenting the way in which the country "a code of cashels and scarred fields" - seems to have missed out on the whole glorious adventure of Europe - "this place never stretched its limbs while young". Ms. O'Don nell sharply, with an economy of image and allusion, intimates what we've lost out on, and im plicitly opens the windows on the whole nature of what many would deplore as our still strong parochialism, product not only of conquest but of an inward turn that's isolated us from the wider shores of culture and thought. Sam Burnside is a Nor therner and "Watching the Marshes" takes the often confusing and complex Northern experience as its major theme. Mr. Burnside is a craftsman and each of these poems is superbly constructed. Where there is anger, that quality of restraint I mentioned earlier controls it and renders it all the fiercer, though never is it hector ing. Like Ms. O'Donnell, he also has a very observant eye, and in those poems like "Weeding" and "A Hard Frost", the imagery is so precise: "The trees painted white are sparkl ing/The air is pin-tipped and tingling". Burnside's poems have a strong sense of history behind them, both per sonal history - and this in cludes the literary homages he pays to fellow Northerners like John Hewitt, the radical Presbyterian weaver James Hope - and the tor tured history of his pro vince. "Soldiers" asks: "What is it they go back to/When they go back east from here". A brief but vivid poem "Orangeman" describes the black bowler hats of the marchers "As obscene somehow as the loin-clout/And guilt/Dry missionaries/One pinned on the hips of savages". This is a terrifically im pressive collection. It ex plores brilliantly the varieties of the Irish ex perience, ranging back in time to saints in their her mitages to lambeg drums beaten on the big tribal festivals that still define Ulster. It's informed by a sad awareness of loss, and a particular awareness of the social conditions that both limit and stiffen the world as seen through the eyes of Ulster's people. This is a book to read and re-read, and cherish for the insights conveyed through the skill of a very gifted poet. Volume 3 lacks the sheer element of delightful sur prise that belonged to Volume 2 (Volume 1 is so hard to get, men have died trying!), and Lefty Wilbury (to whom this new set of tracks is dedicated) has gone to that big recor ding studio in the sky, I think this latest offering from the remaining Wilbury brothers is every bit as good - and in some cases better - that its predecessor. If we drop the aliases for a moment, at time this sounds like a new Bob Dylan record! Lyricwise, Dylan's presence is very strong, especially on tracks like "Where Were You Last Night", and "If You Belonged to Me" (this is classic Dylan and recalls the great days of "Blood on the Tracks" and "The Basement Tapes". "7 Deadly Sins" is a do-wop number that sounds like those '50's songs made famous by the late Del Shannon and the still-withus Dion - it's both parody and homage. Tom Petty contributes a couple of typically off-the-wall tracks - "Poor House" and the very funny "Cool Dry Place", and the foursome really have a ball on "The Wilbury Twist" - hope they make a video of this one! Harrison and Lyne chime in beautifully throughout (when are we going to get another album from George?). My favourite song, though, is "The Devil's Been Busy" - splen did lyrics, brilliant play ing, and driving rhythm from those two maestro session-men, Jim Keltner and Ray Cooper. Don't listen to all those smoothies who'll be telling you - "Naw, it's not as good as the first one". It is. Ver dict: 9/10 (only because Lefty's voice is sorely missed). The Very Best of Elton John: On the sleeve notes, Elton puts it this way: "My old life stops with the release of this history..A new life starts here, thanks to a willingness to change". O.K., Elton. In truth, this ought to be called "The Very Best of Elton and Bernie Taupin", because the tracks collected on this smashing double release (you get more on the cassette and CD) are the fruits of one of the most remarkable musical col laborations in contem porary pop music. They're all here - the gentle numbers like "Your Song", "Daniel", the oh-sobeautiful "Candle in the Wind", "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" and "Sacrifice", and the rockers, like "Crocodile Rock", "Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting", and "The Bitch is Back". And many more. Elton's been making great music for 20 years now. He split with Taupin for a few years and it was obvious how these guys really needed each other. verdict: 10/10

Music Choice



Michael Hannon, who has a long association with Talbhdhearc Na G a i l l l m h e , including 4 years on the Board of Directors, has been ap pointed Chairman of the

Music for Galway con tinues its series of Wednes day Lunchtime Concerts on November I4th with pianist Dearbhaile O'Don nell in the Aula Maxima at 1.10 p.m.


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 Galway Advertiser 1990 / 1990_11_08