10 of the best 1916 commemorative events

The centenary of the Easter Rising has given us an abundance of commemorative cultural events. Marjorie Brennan selects 10 of the best.

 

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Lloyd Cooney waves the tricolour in the Abbey Theatre production of The Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey

 

1. SACRIFICE AT EASTER

Barrack St, Cork; June 17-July 2

Audiences are in for an atmospheric treat as the Corcadorca theatre company stages its biggest site-specific production since 2008 at Elizabeth Fort on Barrack Street in Cork city. The performance, part of the Cork Midsummer Festival, is a creative collaboration between writer Pat McCabe, director Pat Kiernan and composer Mel Mercier.

 

2. INSIDE THE GPO

GPO, Dublin; March 29- April 9

Fishamble presents a new play by Colin Murphy, which will be performed in the main Post Office hall of the GPO. The tense docu-drama, directed by Jim Culleton, puts the audience at the heart of the action as it portrays the events of 1916 through the eyes of the rebels who occupied the GPO for five days.

 

3. SUNDER

16 Moore Street, Dublin; April 14- May 1

Anú Productions have become renowned for their challenging of theatrical conventions by placing the audience at the centre of the experience.

Sunder continues this immersive theme and takes place at the seminal building where the Rebels retreated after abandoning the GPO. A series of installations will bring the audience on a visceral and illuminating journey from 2016 back into the fraught final hours of the Rising. Sunder is part of a triptych of work, along with On Corporation Street, which deals with the Manchester bombing and These Rooms, a co-production with Coiscéim dance theatre.

 

Paul Brady and Glen Hansard are among the performers at special National Concert Hall shows.

Elizabeth Fort on Barrack Street, Cork

Irene Kelleher as Kitty Kiernan in A Great Arrangement

Paul Brady and Glen Hansard are among the performers at special National Concert Hall shows.

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4. ABBEY THEATRE CELEBRATIONS 

The national theatre marks this historic day with a number of events at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin on Easter Monday.

  • Me, Mollser by Ali White, is a retelling of O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars through the eyes of its youngest character, Mollser. (2pm, free but ticketed).
  • Writer Nell Regan will talk about her new book, Helena Molony: A Radical Life, about the remarkable actor and activist of the Rising. (3pm, free but ticketed).
  • An Filleadh, a new play for children by Alan Titley, explores the fate of a family caught up in the history of the pre-Rising period. This play is produced and performed by the students of Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh, Rathfarnham, Dublin. (4pm, free but ticketed)
  • The day will end with a performance of The Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey, directed by Sean Holmes. (7.30pm, tickets €13 – €45; concessions €13 – €23). This production is also touring to Cork and other centres.

 

5. A GREAT ARRANGEMENT

The Gardens Theatre, Lower Friars Walk, Ballyphehane, Cork; until April 2.

Written and directed by Patrick Talbot, this play draws inspiration from the letters between Michael Collins and Kitty Kiernan, presenting aportrait of a couple falling in love in a divided country at a tumultuous time.

 

 

6. IMAGINING HOME

National Concert Hall, Dublin; March 28-April 3

A series of concerts inspired by the 1916 Proclamation and looking at Ireland’s cultural journey over the last 100 years. The series features seven themed concerts. Among them is ‘America’, which celebrates the musical relationship between Ireland and the US and features musicians including Rosanne Cash, Paul Brady and Maura O’Connell. England looks at the musical interplay with our nearest neighbours and features performers Cait O’Riordan, Paul Brady and Cathal Coughlan. For This is Ireland, Glen Hansard gathers friends and collaborators to celebrate Ireland in 2016. Out of the Tradition is a journey through Irish traditional music and an exploration of the great works of the Irish language featuring Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, the Tulla Céilí Band, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, and Iarla Ó Lionáird.

 

7. THE NATION’S VOICE

National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin; Easter Sunday

A free concert featuring 1,000 singers from some of the country’s best choirs, including the City of Cork Male Voice Choir, Cork City SINGS! and Fleischann Choir. The singers will perform a specially commissioned piece by musician Shaun Davey and poet Paul Muldoon; other works featuring are Seán Ó Riada’s Mise Éire Orchestral Suite, excerpts from The Connemara Suite by Bill Whelan and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. It will be broadcast live on RTÉ One, RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and on longwave.

 

8. ON TRIUMPH AND TRAUMA

Firkin Crane, Cork; May 20 and 21

Created and directed by choreographer Luke Murphy, this multidisciplinary dance theatre work draws on a range of sources including witness accounts from the Bureau of Military History and Dáil transcripts to examine how the Ireland of 2016 relates to the ideals of Ireland in 1916.

 

9. CRAWFORD ART GALLERY EXHIBITIONS 1916 IN CONTEMPORARY ART

May 12 – August 13

An exhibition featuring a range of contemporary works meditating on 1916, from painting to poetry, by artists including Alice Maher, Robert Ballagh, Rita Duffy, Michael Coady and David Lilburn.

Confliction Visions In A Turbulent Age, June 3 – August 20: This exhibition looks at social and political themes and events including the Cork International Exhibition (1902); the cultural lives of Cork-born Terence McSwiney and Hugh Lane; the consecration of the Honan Chapel (1915), and the Cork International Exhibition (1902-03).

In addition, visitors will be able to see the results of an invitation to the people of Cork and surrounding areas to bring their personal items of treasured history to the gallery, which will form a digitised display entitled ‘The People’s History’.

 

10. CASEMENT IN KERRY: A REVOLUTIONARY JOURNEY

Kerry County Museum, Ashe Memorial Hall, Tralee, Co Kerry; April 21

Roger Casement’s landing at Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916 was a pivotal event in the run-up to the Rising. This exhibition guides the visitor through Casement’s fascinating life; and also explores the impact Casement’s brief sojourn in Kerry had on locals.

 


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