The Easter Rising of 1916 has been described as an act of theatre; it has been called, more romantically, a poets’ rebellion.
Yeats and Lady Gregory’s prominent role in theatrical, poetic, and cultural life in the period is often acknowledged but their particular connections with and responses to 1916 have shaped much of our own response to the Rising today.
At this year’s Autumn Gathering (September 30 to October 2 ), Dr Adrian Patterson explores the thorny relationship of art, life, politics, and violent revolution, with theatre and poetry the matter for their play Cathleen Ni Houlihan; but also Gregory’s plays The Rising of the Moon, Dervogilla, and, especially, Yeats’s The Dreaming of the Bones, a Noh play set in Ireland’s west where political ideology, dance, and ballad form all meet, with disturbing results.
Other speakers will look at the personalities behind the iconic figures that many of the leaders became, will discuss the role some of the Abbey Theatre actors played in the Rising, and examine whether we, as a nation, commemorated the events of Easter 1916 well.
The Autumn Gathering provides the perfect time at the end of summer to learn more of the remarkable literary heritage of south Galway, and to enjoy part of its exceptional beauty this time of year.
There are walks through the famous Coole woods, a candle lit dinner in its old stables, a play by The Curlew Theatre Company, other entertainment and music, some insights into the relationship between Lady Gregory and James Joyce, and a visit to the Abbey Theatre archive at NUIG.
Places are limited, but everyone is welcome to enjoy all the events, or to pick and choose.
Full details from Marion Cox [email protected]