Lovers of Irish music are in for a treat this coming May Bank Holiday Sunday, May 6, in Achill, with the world premiere of a new trad arts show Wonders of the Wake.
The show with world renowned harpist Joleen McLaughlin and the mná caointe of Áine Brolly, Mary Dillon, and Tiona McSherry revives for the first time on stage the haunting lamenting Celtic keening of an old fashioned Irish wake, and celebrates the ancient rite of the Irish wake in song, Celtic laments, poetry, storytelling, and harp.
Based on the New York Times chosen book My Father's Wake by Achill writer and BAFTA winner Kevin Toolis, the Wonders of the Wake is a showcase for an iconic Irish cultural tradtion.
Director Kevin Toolis said: "Achill and Mayo still has a huge powerful wake tradition and the show Wonders of the Wake celebrates all that is best about this ancient rite. It is something we in the west should all be proud of. Wonders of the Wake is the first trad arts show to celebrate that tradition on stage. We are the Riverdance of the wake.
"Our three singers, our mná caointe, Áine, Mary, and Tiona have the most amazing hypnotic voices just like those female keeners who lamented over the dead for thousands of years from Troy, Jerusalem, and all over Ireland. Their voices will bring a chill to your spine, a tear to the eye, and fill your heart with longing.
"But as any wake-goer also knows there is nothing like a good wake for a bit of craic. In Achill there is an old Irish word, prumsaí, for all the mischief, fun, and games and 'matching' that went on at wakes. And we'll be bringing that onto the stage at the Wavecrest as well."
Wonders of the Wake, will take to the stage in the Wavecrest, Achill Island, Sunday, May 6, at 8pm. Tickets are on sale at Achill Sound and Keel Post offices, Achill Tourism and online at www.heinrichboellcottage.com or on the door for €20.