Theatre: Staged reading of Shirley’s The Politician

A staged reading of James Shirley’s The Politician (1639), which tells a tale of court intrigue and ruthless deception, will be held at Smock Alley Dublin on Thursday 4th April 2019. The production will be directed by Kellie Hughes and performed by University College Dublin drama students.

The staged is organised by Prof Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex) who is also currently editing the play.

James Shirley (1596-1666)

James Shirley (1596-1666)

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Cinema: “All Is True”

All Is True follows Shakespeare in the final days of his life in 1613. With his beloved Globe theatre burned to the ground – an accident that took place during a performance of his play Henry VIII: All Is True – Shakespeare returns to Stratford. After long periods away from his family, Shakespeare attempts to reconcile and reconnect with his wife and children.

Written by Ben Elton and directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film stars Branagh as William Shakespeare, Judi Dench as his wife Anne Hathaway, and Ian McKellen as Sir Henry Wriothesley (the dedicatee of Shakespeare’s narrative poem “The Rape of Lucrece”.)

All Is True opens in Irish cinemas on 8th February 2019.

Watch the trailer here.

allistrue-family-2019

The Shakespeare family – All Is True  (photo credit Sony Pictures)

Shakespeare’s “Pericles” at the Lir, Dublin

From the Lir website.

This new contemporary adaptation of Pericles at The Lir Academy turns William Shakespeare’s classical tale into a modern-day take on the refugee crisis, in a story of resilience and hope.

When Antiochus, the malign ruler of Syria becomes a threat, Pericles must escape conflict and flee his country, risking his life at sea. In this modern-day adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s Romances, Pericles becomes a refugee, a modern hero. His strength and resilience will be tested by the Gods as he seeks asylum in different lands, meets love, faces loss, and is ultimately restored to his rightful place.

Director Conall Morrison brings a unique spin to a classic text , a remarkable play that fuses struggle and strife with love, magic and redemption.

Note: This production contains strobe lighting, smoke effects and loud noises.

Performances

Friday 8th Feb 7.30pm to Thursday 14th Feb 7.30pm — Studio One
Matinee: Tuesday 12th Feb 1.00pm — Studio One

Ticket info.

See the Lir website here.

pericles-1609titlepage

Review: Macbeth at the Mill Theatre, Dundrum

Review: Macbeth at the Mill Theatre, Dundrum, Dublin, October 3rd-26th, 2018, directed by Geoff O’Keefe

Review by Ema Vyroubalová, Trinity College Dublin.

This was an engaging and fast-paced production, notable particularly for its rendering of the Witches, intriguing choices of doubling, tripling, and even quadrupling of roles, as well as an imaginatively conceived yet also very functional stage set. Because the play opens with the three Witches on stage, how a particular director chooses to portray this trio helps set the tone of the rest of the production. O’Keefe’s Witches were dressed in loose black garbs and hooded capes, designed to enable the actors to see but to prevent others from seeing their faces. The effect of these costumes (designed by Olga Criado Monleon) was quite eerie, especially as it gradually became clear to us in the audience, from the changing voices and the varying statures of the black-clad figures, that the roles of the witches in different scenes were being rotated among different actors. A look in the programme indeed reveals that five of the nine cast members play a witch at some point: Shane Quigley Murphy is both a Witch and Lennox; Andrew Kenny, Matthew O’Brien, and Ailbhe Cowley are triple-cast as Witch/Banquo/Doctor, Witch/Malcolm/Murderer, and Witch/Ross/Gentlewoman respectively; and Eanna Hardwicke gets to be Witch/Captain/Fleance/Young Siward. I suspect that the bundling of parts was to some extent prompted by budgetary constraints and/or availability of actors. But the unusual implementation of this bundling in regards to the Witches presents these figures as ubiquitous forces that not only shape the play’s events but that also somehow emanate from the world of the play’s human protagonists rather than from a separate supernatural realm.

It is worth noting that the production avoided the more common double-casting of Lady Macbeth with one of the Witches—likely because it would have implied the kind of too specific pre-emptive power dynamic between the human and the supernatural worlds this production sought to steer clear of. The Witches appeared as silent characters in a number of scenes where Shakespeare’s playscript does not call for their presence. They hovered in the background or foreground, watching the others’ actions or enacting inscrutable ceremonies around the cauldron (which stood at the front of the stage for the whole duration of the performance) and over a miniature replica of a semi-derelict medieval castle hall (or perhaps the nave of a church?) (which was located near the right-hand stage exit). As they did so, they periodically emerged out of dark corners of the set only to blend back into them. This underscored the witches’ omnipresence in a very physical way, by literally keeping at least one of them on stage for the majority of the show. A Witch thus watches as Duncan receives Macbeth to give him the good news of his newly gained title; a different Witch listens as Lady Macbeth reads out the fateful letter from her husband and then observes from the background the meeting between the Macbeths. The resulting integration of the Witches into virtually every moment of the play, whether through the overlapping in the casting of the majority of the roles or their insertions into most scenes as silent figures, ironically makes it very difficult to hypothesize about their roles in the play’s moral universe. They can be seen as representing everything, anything, and nothing at the same time—similar to how the dark void of the colour black results from absorbing all frequencies of light.

The remaining double and triple casting choices would seem to confirm this production’s refusal to locate the source of evil in the play somewhere in the triangle of usual suspects constituted by Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and the Witches. Jed Murray plays both MacDuff and one of the Murderers while Damien Devaney plays Duncan, Porter, and Seyton. Only the roles of Macbeth (Neill Fleming) and his wife (Nichola Macevilly) are spared from this production’s love affair with doubling and trebling of roles, which ultimately emphasises the couple’s isolation and self-consuming despair. The set, designed by Gerard Bourke, creatively utilised the whole available space both vertically and horizontally as it included tree trunks, rocks, and caverns that the actors could variously position themselves on, in, or under. The set also featured a human skeleton and a partially burnt cadaver ominously suspended above the stage and periodically lit (lighting design by Kris Mooney) so as to cast shadows on the actors and actions below. I was a little disappointed by the elimination of many of the passages from the so-called Hecate scenes, especially since the witches and their ever-present cauldron otherwise play such a central role in this production. Another slight disappointment was the beheading of Macbeth’s corpse at the very end of the production, which prompted confused laughter from a portion of the audience as the special effect looked rather cheap and came across as almost comical, which did not appear to be the production’s intention.

Review by Ema Vyroubalová, Trinity College Dublin.

the-three-witches-by-henry-fuseli

Henry Fuseli’s 19th c. painting of the three witches

 

“Macbeth” at the Mill Theatre, Dundrum

Mill Productions present one of Shakespeare’s most intense tragedies. Directed by Geoffrey O’Keeffe and featuring a talented professional cast, this is a traditional production, with genuinely gripping and often affecting performances which sharpen our understanding of Shakespeare’s analysis of human folly and strive to do justice to this greatest of plays.

Evening Performances: Wednesday 10th and Wednesday 24th October at 7.30pm – Tickets €18/€16

Contact the Box Office directly to book your school or group in – info@milltheatre.ie / 01-2969340. Play running time: 2hrs 30mins with a short interval.

School Performance times weekdays at 10am and 1.30pm. A Study Guide will accompany the production. Schools/teachers please see the website for details here.

 

 

 

Writing Lives 1500-1700 – conference, UCD 6-8th September 2018

#writinglivesUCD

Thursday 6th September 2018, Humanities Institute, UCD

9-9.30               Registration and coffee

9.30-11             Plenary I: Prof Andrew Hadfield (Sussex), Reading The Life Between the Lines: Nashe, Spenser and Others

11-11.30            Coffee

11.30-12.30                   Panel 1: The Religious Self

Richard Kirwan (UL) “Trouble Every Day: Experiences of Religious Exile in the Writings of Jacob Reihing”

John McCafferty (UCD)  ‘”O Felix Columba Caeli/ O Happy Dove of Heaven”: a manuscript life shredded by early modern print’

12.30-1.30         Lunch

1.30—2.30        Panel 2: Unmooring life-writing: method, memory, and genre

Chair: Prof Kate Chedgzoy (Newcastle)

Ramona Wray (QUB), “Reading Life-Writing in the Cary/Tanfield Record”

Kate Hodgkin (U of East London), “Memory, melancholy and the languages of loss in 17th century life writing”

2.30-3               Break

3-4.15               Panel 3: – Life writing and religion

Ann-Maria Walsh (UCD) “Mary (née Boyle) Rich, Countess of Warwick (1624-1678): Writing and Experimenting – A Spiritual Life”

Mark Empey (NUIG) “Life writer and Life writing: the parallel worlds of Sir James Ware”

5pm                      Wine reception – Common Room, Newman Building, UCD

Friday 7th September 2018, K114, Newman Building, UCD

9.30-11             Plenary II: Prof Kate Chedgzoy (Newcastle), Writing Children’s Lives

11-11.30            Coffee

11.30-1             Panel 4 – Women in the 17th Century

Carol Baxter (independent scholar) “’Serving God rather than my father’: religious life writing as a rejection of the patriarchal family”

Naomi McAreavey (UCD) – The Countess of Ormonde’s Letters (title tbc)

Danielle Clarke (UCD) “Irish women’s recipe books as life writing: form, process, method”

1-2pm                   Lunch (exhibition and archive visit)

2-3pm                   Panel 5 – Travel and formation of the self

Maria Luis Dominguez-Guerrero (Seville) “Rhetoric of the Conquest: Narrations from Castilian Explorers”

Eva Holmberg (Helsinki)  “Visual Self-Description in Seventeenth-Century British Travel Accounts”

4-6pm                   Walking tour of Renaissance Dublin (AM Walsh), followed by pub visit and conference dinner, at Le Pichet, Trinity Street, Dublin 2* [* Dinner is €40 per head. ]

Saturday 8th September 2018, K114, Newman Building

9.30-11             Plenary III: Prof Alan Stewart (Columbia), Writing Lives under Duress

11-11.15            Coffee

11.15-1 Panel 6 – Alternative Forms

Nelson Marques (Miami) “War and Self: Soldier’s Petitions in Seventeenth-Century Portugal”

Emma Claussen (Oxford)  “Forms of living in Descartes’s Les passions de l’âme

Raluca Duna (Bucharest) “Writing the self with images, painting identity with texts”

1-1.30pm              Roundtable and close

Followed by optional lunch in Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

The conference is free to attend, but for catering purposes the organisers would appreciate it if you could sign up using this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/writing-lives-1500-1700-tickets-48653964317

If you have any questions, please email the organisers at writinglives@ucd.ie.

This conference is supported by the College of Arts and Humanities and the Humanities Institute, UCD.

#writinglivesUCD

Image credit: ‘The Librarian’, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, c.1566 (Skokloster Castle)


 

Renaissance Re-enactment: The Visit of Archduke Ferdinand of Hapsburg to Kinsale in 1518

500 years ago Archduke Ferdinand of Habsburg arrived in Kinsale, Co. Cork, having been blown off course whilst sailing from Spain to the Low Countries. He and his party spent four days in June 1518 resting and resupplying in Ireland’s southernmost medieval town. The population provided a very hospitable welcome and even more so when they discovered that the Prince was on board. The chronicle of the voyage gives a colourful account of the royal party’s time in Ireland commenting on the dress, culture, and music of the people. Ferdinand succeeded his brother Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor in 1558.

At noon on Saturday 9th June we commemorate this event which connects us to the high politics of Europe. This will involve a short parade along the Pier Road from the Galleon Mast and a recreation of a meeting between the town councillors, townspeople, gallowglasses and the Archduke’s party as took place at the time, followed by complementary historical talks in the Temperance Hall during the afternoon.

Renaissance Re-enactment

Photo opportunities: 10:30am at St. Multose Church and 11am at Desmond Castle

12 noon: A pageant from the Galleon Mast, Pier Road to Market Quay to recreate encounters with townspeople, gallowglasses and poet.

2pm to 5pm: Talks at Temperance Hall (see poster and website below for details.)

For more on this event, see Kinsale.ie here.

For more on Ireland and 1518, see the website here.

Kinsale 1518 Archduke reenactment 2018