FOR A number of years Gort in south Galway, was known as ‘Little Brazil’ due to the numbers of Brazilians who were living there - and their stories are set to be retold in Stories Of A Yellow Town.
Stories Of A Yellow Town is a show for those aged 10+ from the Galway/Catalan duo The Gombeens (Jonathan Gunning and Miquel Barceló ) which runs from Monday October 13 to Wednesday 15 in the Nuns Island Theatre as part of Baboró International Arts Festival for Children.
Jonathan and Miquel created the show by drawing from interviews they conducted with Irish and Brazilian people living in Gort, asking them to share memorable moments from their lives; funny stories, love stories, anecdotes, or dramatic events. These were then transcribed, dramatised, and shaped into a 60-minute show, which also includes music, song, and comedy.
Speaking ahead of the show’s Baboró run, Jonathan said: “Baboró gives us the opportunity to perform to children of the generation that first encountered a multicultural Ireland. With this show we want children to get excited about real stories and their power to enchant. We do not underestimate the capacity of children to engage with emotions. Children are brilliant to perform to as they tell you how they feel in the moment.”
While the script of Stories Of A Yellow Town remains loyal to the original words of those interviewed, the Gombeens have, “added a new story that we believe helps create a fuller sense of Gort, and the people there,” said Jonathan. “This version has more emphasis on the visual and the physicality of the performance.”
Jonathan feels the stories told in Yellow Town are universal, in that anyone can identify with the theme of adjusting to a new life.
“Audiences can expect to be moved, to laugh, maybe cry a little,” he says, “then ring their cousins in Australia and say ‘Now, I know how you feel!’”