Started Trilogy – “The State of Us” last monday in Smock Alley with The Great Hunger – The Grand Inquisitor and The Murders at Wilgoose lodge,Carleton, and Me, to follow.
Covered in The Irishman’s Diary ITimes on Nov 9th and interview on RTE 1’s art show Arena @7pm nov 15th, also has been covered in social media and other radio stations.
Each piece is available at www.smockalley.com
Some reasons why Trilogy is of significance and importance.
- All three works are of great literary value from three great writers (even William Carleton’s Wildgoose lodge if to a lesser extent).
- The three works span a history of over 100 yrs ie from early 19th C.Ireland (1816 in particular), late 19th C.Russia to 1930’s Ireland and over 200 yrs to the present.
- The two Irish works originated in the South Monaghan area (WGL on border with Co Louth), where I also originally came from, if not in the immediate area.
- Théodore Géricault’s (1791–1824) painting The Wreck of the Medusa (see attach) has inspired me, in particular in relation to “The Murders at Wildgoose Lodge, Carleton , and Me” (written by myself ) and the idea of presenting a Trilogy. Both the event in 1816 and the painting has had significant political and artistic reverberations down to the present.
- It may be just complete co-incidence or it may reflect something in the ether that both Fintan O Toole ( I.T. series of articles aug 2117) and myself choose the same sub-title “The State of Us” for our work and it would seem entirely separately. I suppose one can believe everything is connected and for a reason or not !
- The Great Hunger was included in Ireland – 100 Modern Artworks (RIA 2016).
- It is Patrick Kavanagh’s (PK) 50th anniversary on the 30th of November and just after the Trilogy (including The Great Hunger) has finished performance in Smock Alley Theatre.
- I understand that The G.H. was the first PK poem Seamus Heaney read and which was a great influence on him and his poetic development.
- I was knocked off my Bike, un-conscious and injured in Sept 214, spent a night on a Trolley in ST James Hospital not allowed to move and kept reciting The G.H. to “pass the time”. In the morning when I was being taken to a ward, we passed the “The Patrick Kavanagh Ward” – it gave me a badly needed lift. When I started to get better I went in search of the P.K. ward but could not find it. It had been changed while I was there. Over the next few years I lobbied (registered my interest) to get another ward named after him and in late 2016 or early 2017 a new ward in Mercer’s Institute For Successful Ageing (MISA) was named after him !
- An artist Fergus Ryan came to the performance of the G.H. and as a result painted Maguire’s October (see image in landscape images at www.fergusryan.com)
- Wildgoose was the worst atrocity of the 19th C. more people executed than 1916, at least half deemed to be innocent, yet few people know anything about it. Why ?
- The Year of No Summer (1816) was part of the worst climate crisis of the 19th C.
- I wrote the version of the G.I. used in The Trilogy based on Madame Blavatsky’s translation, an extraordinary woman who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875, met WB Yeats n was known all over the world in the 19th C.
- Wildgoose Lodge by William Carleton is a great example of a 19th century gothic story – wild stormy weather, intimations of the supernatural, secret societies, late night secret church meeting combining oath taking and alcohol drinking, a horrific revenge burning, all written in dark foreboding language.
- Peter Brook (the revered English theatre director) directed a production of The GI in 2006 which was staged in Dublin as part of the Dublin Theatre festival.
- All three shows will be performed on Sat November 25 at 2pm (G.H.), 5pm (G.I.) and 8pm (WGL).
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