13 December 2011

Ireland: Part 1, Dublin, Gaiety School, Tours

Here is Patrick Sutton welcoming us to Ireland! He looks great in Tina's Nessie hat doesn't he? Well, we arrived in Dublin on Saturday November 26th and checked into Barnacles Hostel in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. It is where all the action is! The students were here for two weeks studying at the Gaiety School of Acting. This is our 14th year at the Gaiety. Classes taken were: Irish Theatre Seminar with Denis O'Brien, Voice with Cathal Quinn, Acting with Patrick Sutton and Mark Lambert ( actor and director...has performed with Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal Court Theatre). We saw many theatre productions: The Government Inspector at the Abbey Theatre, Ireland's National Theatre, Little Women at The Gate Theatre, Iscariot at the Boys' School written by Patrick Sutton, the panto, Robinson Crusoe, and The Making of Tis a Pity She's a Whore at the Project Arts Center. This last production was very unique, intriging, and exciting. We all wanted to see it again!

There were also many cultural trips that were part of the program. On Monday there was a walking tour of Dublin with Marie. A trip to St. Michan's Church and Vaults where the students got to see mummies and rub the finger of one for good luck! We also went to the Yeats exhibit at the National Library of Ireland. Perhaps one of the best trips was to Glasnevin Cemetery on the outskirts of Dublin where we got a historical tour by a great tourguide. A lot of political figures and writers are buried there and we got a history of the different wars, revolts, etc of Ireland. Here are some pictures from the Glasnevin Tour. Shannon Ryan from the United States, a former student at the Gaiety was our hostess for the week and took us to the various venues and events. We took a bus to the Cemetery.


O'Connell's tomb and tower.

Inside the tomb has been restored. The section on the left has not been restored so one can see the condition it was in before.

Looking up the tower. Spiral staircase is missing.

O'Connell family members also buried here.

Parnell was buried in a colera pit. Hundreds of people were buried in this circle.

Many celtic crosses in the cemetery with excellent stone carving.

Brendan Behan, the playwright's grave. In the hole in the tombstone was originally a bust that went missing. Many times one can find a pint of Guinness in the hole in the stone. When it evaporates, it is usually replaced. If you know Behan, this is very, very appropriate!

Michael Collins' grave, the most visited one in the cemetery.

It was a cold, bitter day!

We also celbrated Aaron's Birthday! Balloons in his room and a cupcake from Patrick. Then we all watched SMU's production of Playboy of the Western World in Patrick's new office! As some of you know, the Gaiety moved to a new building where the Smock Alley Theatre is located. They have many studios, a black box theatre, where we performed last year, only smaller, and the Smock Alley Theatre. So Patrick now has a big office! Congrats!

Patrick's office!

Hope you enjoyed Part 1, move on to Part 2 for more Irish adventures!


Ireland: Part 2, Galway, Panto, Smock Alley

After class on Friday we took a bus to Galway. With the new highway and express bus it only took us 2 1/2 hours. Used to take at least 4. We checked into Barnacles Hostel and proceeded to eat fish and chips next door at McDonough's! Great! Spent the weekend shopping, eating, and taking in the night life. It was a good break from all of the memorization of scenes and monologues assigned the first week. Students loved going to the seashore.

Quay Street.

The Christmas Market in Galway.

Bad hair day Andrew?

Looks better than the hair!

We all had Kangaroo burgers and the next day I had Wild Boar and Aaron had antelope!

This is Occupied Galway! Tiny isn't it? Dublin's wasn't much bigger!

Andrew and Tina ride Skip. He survived!

The students finally got to experience a Panto. We saw Robinson Crusoe at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. Pantos are strictly a UK phenomenon always done at Christmas time. I am going to see a Bollywood panto of Cinderella at Tara Theatre on the 15th. Should be interesting. They need to be experienced to understand what they are!!!!!

Gaiety Stage.

Safety curtain of the Gaiety Theatre at Interval.

Patrick gave us a tour of the new Smock Alley Theatre which is still under construction. It is one of the oldest theatres in Western Europe...1600's. It is going to be awesome when it is completed.

Thrust seating. Will seat 200.

The Stage.

Sam checking out the seating that will be covered in leather!

This tombstone is going to be part of the bar in the new theatre.

The students performed an hour showcase of all the scene and monologues from Synge, O'Casey, Friel, and Beckett. They did an incredible job! The two weeks of intense, hard work paid off!

The Boss!

Laura who is student teaching in Dublin came to the Showcase!

Tina owes Patrick $85....Why you ask? Ask Tina!

Grafton Street

With the financial problems shopkeepers are using different tactics to get customers into their stores.