In a stunning collaboration, Footsbarn Travelling Theatre company, singer-songwriter Glen Hansard and accordionist Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich will be performing an adaption of Irish author James Stephens' 1912 novel, The Crock of Gold in Galway later this month.
The production, directed by Paddy Hayter and Vincent Gracieux, will be performed in Galway at the Black Box for two nights only on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August at 8pm.
In this 90 minutes of music, poetry and humour, philosophers, leprechauns, pagan gods and policemen come together in a comic and intricate tale presented by the Footsbarn theatre company founded 50 years ago in the centre of France by Paddy and Fredericka Hayter.
Adapted from James Stephens’ novel, The Crock of Gold is a fantastical, deeply symbolic novel that leads us from darkness to light whilst asking some of life’s fundamental questions.
The main protagonist, a philosopher, sets forth on a quest to find Caithleen, the neighbour’s daughter abducted by the god Pan. His journey will lead him from the darkness of the forest to the dazzling heights of the pagan gods, in an odyssey of encounters and experiences that will change him forever.
Paddy and Freddy Hayter first concocted the idea for the adaptation when they met Hansard in Ireland over 10 years ago. Both parties bonded over their love for the comic novel, which features elements of philosophy and traditional Irish folklore and themes in its storytelling.
Hansard, an actor and songwriter best known for his Oscar-winning performance in Once and membership in music groups The Frames and The Swell Season, has described The Crock of Gold as a "curious book" that is often forgotten in Irish literature.
In a recent interview with Hot Press, Hansard says ‘’part of the reason I am involved with Footsbarn on this is because The Crock of Gold is one of my favourite books and I have bought many copies through the years and gifted them to people," explained Hansard.
He hopes that audiences will appreciate the book's magic after viewing the performance and feel a sense of lightness and gentility. Though the novel is often forgotten, the Footsbarn Theatre says that it gives them a chance to "restore it to the place where it should still be – a vital part of Ireland's rich cultural heritage which can only deepen the connection between people, place and the past."
In addition to Hansard's music, Kerry accordion player Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich narrates the story and adds to the traditional Irish music. Both he and Hansard will perform the music on stage as the Footsbarn actors use their charm and talent to tell the story of The Crock of Gold.
Featuring Glen Hansard, Breanndán O Beaglaoich, Vincent Gracieux, Paddy Hayter, June McGrane, Zoe Hayter, Henri Alexandre, Haris Haka Resic, Tony Wadham and Maire Saaritsa. Duration 90 minutes, no interval and followed by a performance by Footsbarn’s very special musical friends! Tickets €30/€26 are available from www.tht.ie or Town Hall Box Office 091 569777