‘Green Screen’ Macbeth in Irish cinemas in March

[From the Macbeth website]

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is as relevant today as when it was first performed. We experience the internal anguish of one man’s desperate fall, and see a leader who promised so much overcome by imaginings and guilt as he descends into madness. Macbeth’s world is claustrophobic, dark and equivocal, a space in which, ‘nothing is but what is not’.

This radical new adaptation puts the audience’s engagement with the story centre-stage, amplifying the theatrical context of the original whilst creating truly innovative and thrilling cinematic vistas. The film magnifies the raw, dark, imaginative power of the text with an extraordinary, dynamic modern aesthetic – making the play both viscerally entertaining and giving it contemporary relevance. It is a feast not just for the eye, but also for the audience’s imaginations.

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Scene from Monkman’s Macbeth [Image credit: Macbeth website “Spread the Word”]

In conceiving of a green-screen approach to Shakespeare, the team behind Macbeth set out to blend the best elements of cinema, theatre, design and new media to herald the opening of a new chapter on Shakespeare on film. For more on the making of Macbeth see here.

Macbeth will be screened in several cinemas around Ireland on Tuesday 13th March 2018. Venue information and tickets available on the Macbeth website here.

Trailer here. [Info from the Macbeth website]

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Scene from Monkman’s Macbeth [Image credit: Macbeth website “Spread the Word”]

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“Renaissance Prose: New Directions” – Irish Renaissance Seminar at NUI Galway in May 2018

“Renaissance Prose: New Directions” – a meeting of the Irish Renaissance Seminar at NUI Galway, Saturday 5th May 2018 

1.30pm: Welcome

1.45‐3.15pm: Panel

  • Darrell Jones (NUI Galway): ‘Scribo, ergo mundum est: John Locke’s Scenes of Writing’
  • Jason Harris (University College Cork): ‘Travel for the Feckless: A Few Words of Advice from Bonaventure Baron (1666)’
  • Daniel Carey (NUI Galway): ‘The Early Modern Travel Book as Glossographic Text’

3.15‐45pm: Refreshments

3.45‐4.45pm: Plenary

  • Cathy Shrank (University of Sheffield): ‘Virtuous Matrons and Subtle Bawds: Women (and their absence) in Early Modern Dialogue’

4.45pm: Close of meeting

6.30pm: Dinner (optional)

To express interest in attending, please contact Prof. Marie‐Louise Coolahan (marielouise.coolahan@nuigalway.ie) or Prof. Daniel Carey (daniel.carey@nuigalway.ie).

This event is generously sponsored by the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, NUI Galway, and the Society for Renaissance Studies.

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[Main image: Edward Cocker’s The Pen’s Triumph, 17th c.]

Conference CfP: Writing Lives in Europe, 1500-1700

University College Dublin, 6th-8th September 2018

This conference on life writing/self writing will address questions related to life writing across Europe between 1500-1700, in particular the influence of different religious, social, cultural and national perspectives on the emergence of various forms of self-writing. We are particularly interested in relationships, connections, textual traffic and circulation across Europe through networks such as intellectual circles/coteries, religious orders, and the experience of exiled communities. Life writing has long historical roots, but such writings are arguably the first examples of demotic, vernacular writing in the period. ‘Life writing’ describes narratives that allow us to interrogate how far ideas of self were fashioned by and through various forms of written representation, and to examine the stylistic, generic and social parameters to the formation of identities. Life writings comprise new, hybrid and emerging forms over the period 1500-1700, developing from relatively ‘static’ modes such as saints lives, eulogies, encomia, into more dynamic forms like biography, autobiography, chronicle histories, prison writing, prophecy, sermons, diaries, elegies, monumental verse, and letters. The conference aims to provide a more nuanced account of the emergence, creation and reception of narratives of the self, focussing not just on content, but on narrative, generic and material frameworks that inflect the representation of the “self” according to variables such as gender, class, region, language and religion.

The key questions that we hope that contributors will address include:
1. How do we define “life writing” and what kinds of narratives, texts and artifacts might it include?
2. What are the critical differences between biographically based criticism and the investigation of self writing/narrativization of selves?
3. What are the specific conditions (historical, cultural, local, religious/confessional, familial) that enable the emergence of life writing over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Why then?
4. How useful is standard periodisation for thinking about the emergence of these hybrid, complex forms from (mostly) domestic spaces?
5. How significant is it that women writers and subjects are so strongly represented in life writing, and what is at stake in these representations?
6. How might texts which are generically distinct from life writing be read through this framework, e.g. poems, romances, polemic etc?
7. What role does editing, transmission and circulation play in the construction and reception of life writing?
8. What light might comparative perspectives from other languages and cultures offer?

We welcome contributions from established and early career researchers, and encourage papers that address non-Anglophone writings, although papers will be delivered in English.

Papers (20 minutes) on the following topics are particularly welcome:
– memorialization
– exemplarity
– forms/modes/genres/language choices
– materiality/transmission
– privacy/publication
– historical contextualisation(s)
– authorship/collaboration
– community
– spirituality/religion/proselytising

Proposals (comprising a title, 200 word abstract, up to 5 keywords, and a 100 word bio) should be sent to: lifewriting@ucd.ie by Friday March 16th 2018.

Organisers: Prof. Danielle Clarke (School Of English, Drama & Film, UCD) and Prof. John McCafferty (School of History, UCD).

[Image credit: Print by Andrea Meldolla – mid-sixteenth century (Trustees British Museum)]

Theatre: “Macbeth” by Icarus Theatre Collective – touring now

[From Icarus Theatre’s Macbeth press release]

The vicious, barbaric undercurrent in Shakespeare’s fear-filled tragedy erupts in Icarus Theatre’s kinetic and blood-thirsty production. Unrivalled on the battlefield, Macbeth is rewarded with rank and favour by a grateful king but the war has left its scars. With each enemy Macbeth butchers, his lust for power takes a more menacing grip. Spectres slaughtered on the battlefield drip poison in his ear, and passions erupt as he ferociously seizes the throne. But, violence breeds violence, and a reign born in blood quickly spirals out of control as Macbeth’s demons return to destroy him.

Set in the 11th century and culminating in an epic battle filled with revenge, justice, and beheadings, Icarus Theatre blends the traditional and the physical to bring to life some of literature’s most vibrant language and characters.

This production centres around the idea that Macbeth himself is suffering from PTSD. Director Max Lewendel comments:

“War is hell, and medieval warfare even more so. There is something in the psychology of PTSD that resonates here in a very Hitchcockian kind of way. This world is a supernatural nightmare for Macbeth and I wanted to explore the idea that the horrors of what he has done and seen lurk in every shadow, in every corner.”

In addition to this new psychological element, many of the traditional male roles are here cast as female characters, stressing the importance of gender parity on stage. This is a patriarchal world, but one that is being challenged by powerful women pushing forward change.

For more information and to book tickets, see the Icarus Theatre Collective website here.

Lawrence Stubbings (Macbeth), James Heatlie (Banquo)

Lawrence Stubbings as Macbeth and James Heatlie as Banquo  [Image credit: George Riddell and Icarus Theatre]

Arguing with Edmund Spenser in Contemporary Irish Poetry

Thursday 15th February, 7-9pm
Poetry Ireland, 11 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1.
Tickets: Free, but limited – booking advised. Info from Poetry Ireland website.

The Tudor poet, Edmund Spenser, is not remembered fondly in Ireland, despite his having written most of his major works while living here as a planter and colonial administrator in the late sixteenth century, and despite the interest of W.B. Yeats in his potential uses as an Irish poet. The reasons for this disfavour are all too easy to identify: Spenser’s vicious polemic against both the native Irish and the descendants of the Norman settlers who had become ‘more Irish than the Irish themselves’ (as the saying goes) in his political dialogue, A View of the Present State of Ireland.

But Spenser has been an increasingly noticeable presence in contemporary Irish poetry, prompting exploration not just of the darker moments of Irish history during the plantations, and their implications for Ireland today, but also of the opportunities for reflection and even self-examination his poetry offers an Irish reader – and ultimately, perhaps, a re-evaluation of the usual narratives of the Irish literary tradition.

The School of English, Drama, Film and Creative Writing, University College Dublin and Poetry Ireland invite you to join five poets who have been thinking and arguing with Spenser in their recent work for an evening of discussion and readings: John McAuliffe (The Way In (2015)), Trevor Joyce (Fastness (2017)), Leanne O’Sullivan (A Quarter of an Hour (2018)), Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (Ireland Professor of Poetry (2001-2004)), and current Ireland Professor of Poetry Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (The Boys of Bluehill (2015)).

Tickets: Free, but limited – booking advised here.

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Frontispiece to The Faerie Queene, printed 1590.

Symposium: New directions in early modern Irish women’s history

This one-day interdisciplinary symposium, presented by the Women’s History Association of Ireland, will be held at the Moore Institute in NUI Galway on Friday 16th February 2018.

This will bring together leading and emerging scholars from a variety of disciplines currently engaged in cutting-edge research on the history of early modern Irish women. Keynote lectures will be delivered by Professor Mary O’Dowd (QUB) and Professor Jane Ohlmeyer (TCD). Other confirmed speakers include Sparky Booker (QUB), Felicity Maxwell (NUIG), Frances Nolan (UCD), Clodagh Tait (MI), Evan Bourke (NUIG) and Jane Maxwell (TCD). The symposium is free to attend, but advance registration is necessary.

For further details, contact the organiser Dr Bronagh McShane at: bronagh.mcshane@nuigalway.ie

For more on the Women’s History Association of Ireland, see the WHAI blog here.

 

“The Winter’s Tale” at the Lir, Dublin

Performances at the Lir on Pearse Street, Dublin, from Friday 1st December until Thursday 7th December, at 7.30pm. Matinee: Monday 4th December, 1pm.
Tickets: €15 and €10 concession

The dark dramas of violent jealousy, sexual slander and death at the court of Sicilia, lead to a small baby girl being abandoned in the wild reaches of rural Bohemia. There, sixteen years later, the hot midsummer festivities are the background for delight, disguise and denunciation, which in turn carry the tale, replete with runaway lovers, a scalliwag, an old shepherd and his clown son back to Sicilia. The icy mourning of King Leontes begins to thaw as these two contrasting worlds meld, and in a magical finale full of revelations,  Shakespeare shows us his delight in such a vivid, motley collection of characters and his ultimate belief in forgiveness and redemption.

For more information on the production and to book tickets, see the Lir website here.