In Covid ravaged times it’s difficult for theatre. The Druid in Ireland have overcome that by staging six plays by Lady Augusta Gregory outdoors at Coole Park. I muse, it’s in the tradition of Frederico Garcia Lorca the second Spanish Republic and ‘La Barracca’.
The initial run at Coole Park is to be followed by a series of plays staged across Co Galway at venues such as Portumna, Clifden. Kinvara and ‘joy of joys’ Kylemore Abbey – the happy highways of my youth!
The reviews (two links) below are generally good with ‘Cathleen ni Houlihan’ in particular coming in for praise.
In ‘Cathleen’ the Old Woman describes her four “beautiful green fields,” representing the four provinces that have been unjustly taken from her. With little subtlety, she requests a blood sacrifice declaring that “many a child will be born and there will be no father at the christening”. It’s seen by some as the clarion call to 1916 and ultimately the creation of the current 26 county Republic. I wonder what Lady Gregory would make of Leo, Micheál and the Greens?
Now there’s a speculative ‘Play’ for some budding Irish playwright – waiting to be written!
Here are the links:
Image: Kylemore Abbey, what a backdrop – Inset: Augusta, Lady Gregory
Assistant General Secretary Celtic League (22 September 2020)