Barry McGovern and Benjamin Dwyer to perform in Neachtains

Actor and guitarist to mix music with the poetry and prose of Beckett, Joyce, and O’Brien.

Actor Barry McGovern.

Actor Barry McGovern.

THE EMINENT Irish actor Barry McGovern, and classical guitarist Benjamin Dwyer, join forces for a special recital in Tigh Neachtains this Thursday [February 23] at 4.30pm, mixing music with the poetry and prose of Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, and Flann O’Brien.

Following the performance in Neachtain's the duo will decamp to Charlie Byrne's Bookshop for the launch of Dwyer’s acclaimed new book, Britten and the Guitar: Critical Perspectives for Performers - the first book to explore Benjamin Britten’s guitar works and offering an extraordinary range of fascinating insights into the man and his music.

Dwyer is a guitarist, composer, and musicologist who has spent decades performing Britten’s music and so comes to his subject not only as a researcher but also as an expert practitioner. The book explores the intricate relationship between Britten and his life-partner, the tenor Peter Pears; and with the guitarist Julian Bream, for whom all the guitar works were written. However it also goes further, in situating Renaissance composer and lutenist John Dowland as a central and inspirational figure who hovers over all of Britten’s guitar works, providing new perspectives into Britten’s compositional approach, demonstrating how techniques of musical rhetoric, exemplified by Dowland, are central to his musical language.

Dwyer is a member of Aosdána and his music is forged from an intensive amalgamation of technical, improvisatory, and interpretative elements. His works have been performed worldwide by renowned musicians and ensembles, and he has performed with the Neubrandenburg Philharmonic (Germany ), the Santos Symphony Orchestra (Brazil ), VOX21, the Callino Quartet (UK ), the Vogler String Quartet (Germany ), and Barry Guy’s Blue Shroud Band.

Barry McGovern has played in all the major Beckett plays. His two one-man Beckett shows, I’ll Go On and Watt, have toured worldwide. He frequently gives readings of, and lectures on, Beckett. McGovern has read the complete Ulysses at the Joyce Tower in Sandycove, Dublin on Bloomsday (June 16 ) over the past 20 years. He has recorded The Dead and played Stephen Dedalus in Stephen D, an adaptation of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He played Buck Mulligan in Blooms of Dublin, Anthony Burgess’s radio musical adaptation of Ulysses.

Thursday afternoon offers a unique opportunity to see these two gifted performers together in the intimate surroundings of Tigh Neachtain. Not to be missed.

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