28 November 2018

Bye London, Hello Ireland: Dublin and Galway

During our second to the last week in London we went to see War Horse at the National Theatre (pictured above), Ear for Eye at the Royal Court Theatre and Company at the Gielgud Theatre.  Company was directed by Marianne Elliot who also directed War Horse.  This version of Company made Bobby, the male lead, into Bobbie, a female lead.  It also did some gender swapping with other cast members.  The production and concept were excellent and a lot of fun!  Patti Lupone played Joanne in this production.  During this last week I got to see both parts of The Inheritance; it is the new Angels in America.  Each part is three and a half hours.  My friend Paul Dutro who lives in Germany and I saw both parts in one day!  The next day Paul, Jonathan Kennedy, and I went to see Kinky Boots. Lots of fun!  For those of you who know Jonathan I am happy to announce that he has just been appointed by the British Council to be Head of all of the Arts in India.  Yes he is in charge of ALL of the arts in India!!!!  He moves there in February.  Best of luck Jonathan!  Students in their last week in London were writing final papers and doing final presentations.  On Friday they packed up their flats, left luggage in my flat, and boarded a plane to Dublin, Ireland on Saturday. 

Amalia and the girls saying good-bye to their London flat #5.

On Saturday, November 17 we flew to Dublin and checked into the Abbey Court Hostel for our two week stay.  We had a free weekend before we had to go to the Gaiety School of Acting on Monday where the students will be doing a two-week intensive acting program developed just for Saint Mary's.

The first play we saw was a one-man show called Iscariot written and directed by Patrick Sutton.  Charlie performed the role of Iscariot again this year.  Patrick as some of you may have heard had a brain tumor removed this summer and is going through treatment and rehab to get his speech back.  I got to visit him last Wednesday, and we had a great visit. His speech is back, and we went for a walk and had coffee and scones!  We did a lot of catching up.  He sends his regards to everyone! He is getting treatment now and is home on weekends.  Lovely visit.


The next day we went to a morning performance of Macbeth at the Smoke Alley Theatre that was directed by Martin McGuire one of the two acting teachers this year.  Last year Martin directed King Lear.  Both of these shows toured schools in Ireland, and they conducted workshops with the high school students after the show which we sat in on.  Charlie was also in this production playing Duncan and other roles.

On Wednesday evening we went to see Woman Undone at the Project Arts Center.  Mary Coughlan is a very famous Irish singer and this was her life story.  Students loved it, and I hadn't a clue as to what was going on. LOL.

This is Rex who is from California and is doing the Gaiety course with our students.  He is in the lobby of the Project Arts Center checking out what other shows are being done there.

On Thursday, I spent the whole day cooking Thanksgiving Dinner.  I commandeered the kitchen at the hostel and had dinner ready for when the students finished classes that day.  I had them bring Martin (pictured below) along for dinner.  This I believe is his 3rd or 4th Thanksgiving dinner he has done with us.  We, however, missed Patrick!

Turkey breast with sausage, sage, and apple stuffing. 

Green Bean Casserole.

Honey Glazed carrots.

Corn with butter

Sweet potatoes, pecans, and marshmellows.  Also mashed potatoes

And Apple pie and Apple Crumble pie for dessert.

On Tuesday morning students went to see The Book of Kells and the Trinity Library.

Thursday afternoon before their acting class students visited 
Kilmainham Gaol which was the prison used during The Troubles.  The film, The Name of the Father, with Daniel Day Lewis was filmed here.


After class on Friday we took a bus to Galway for the weekend.  It was basically free time to see other parts of Ireland.  All the students stayed in Galway and did not do any daytrips.  On Friday night some of us had fish and chips at McDonagh's two doors down from the Hostel.  The Christmas Market and Carnival were going on in Eire Square again this year.  I also stopped in to see Anna at O'Maille's Sweater shop where I buy all my hand knit Irish sweaters.  They are made by the ladies on the Aran Islands who unfortunately are getting too old to keep making them.  None of the next generation has learned how to knit.  It is becoming a lost art!

Galway's always fun with dancing in the streets!!!!

The Christmas Market

The Sea.

This shop has the world's smallest Claddagh ring.

For those who came to Galway in the past, Barnacle's has been sold to Snoozle's.  Whole place has been repainted and spiffed up.  I heard the Barnacles in Dublin has also been sold but not to Snoozle's

Some of the girls bought rings at this store on the corner across from McDonagh's

Galway at Night.

We returned to Dublin on Sunday afternoon.  On Monday evening we went to see The Snow Queen which is the Gaiety Theatre's Panto production.   It was a lot better than last years; and it was pretty fun! Panto is not an American art form.  It is strictly British and Irish and unlike anything you will ever see.  Trust me!!!!

Oh I forgot!  While in Galway Dan, Rex and I went to my favorite pub on Friday night, Barr an Chalagh.   Nice, quiet, cozy local pub with a singer and great fireplace.  Loved my Irish coffee!!!

Back in Dublin, the students went to the Little Museum of Dublin which they found really interesting.

In the distance is the Ha'penny Bridge.

Today we took a tour of the Guinness Brewery.  We walked there from the Gaiety School.  It was my first time back there in about 4 years.  A lot has changed.  A new advertising section, tasting rooms, and academy where you can learn how to properly pour a pint of Guinness. It all looks very nice!

Dan doing Brecht--Father Courage and his Children!

The hotter it gets the darker it becomes.

A carved wooden sculpture which looks like a pint of Guinness with figures carved in.

Some of the Advertising section.

Adam and Celeste are now experts on pouring a pint of Guinness.

At the end of the tour you can turn in your ticket stub for a pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar which has a terrific 360 degree view of the City of Dublin.

After the tour students went back to the Hostel to memorize their lines for all the scenes and monologues that they have been working on for their showcase this Friday!  More to follow!