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A PLAY about love, about art, about relationships, ambition, desire, the declines of the Anglo-Irish gentry, and the emergence of a new society - Anton Chekhov’s tragi-comedy The Seagull, in the acclaimed adaptation by Thomas Kilroy, is all of these things.
DRUID’S PRODUCTION of The Seagull may have sold-out, but Galway will still be able to see the internationally acclaimed company in action, as the shows will be recorded for streaming in September.
The Lausanne Conference of July 1932, attended by the former allied powers of World War I (Britain, France, Belgium and Italy), and Germany, accepted that the world economic crisis made continued reparations by Germany virtually impossible. Various long-term arrangements were made, but in effect it allowed Germany off the hook for the monetary compensation it had agreed to pay for its responsibility in starting the war. Germany was now free to rebuild its own economy. This was a very importance conference attended by the world press, among whom was Clare Sheridan.
It was not only Winston Churchill who was cross and embarrassed at Clare Sheridan’s adventures in Moscow, London society was both alarmed and intrigued. It was surprised that a member of its upper class should have ventured alone into the viper’s nest. She was invited to balls and receptions mainly as a curiosity. One hostess told her outright that she was nothing but ‘a Bolshevik’, and a suspicion persisted that she was a spy, a fact that Clare did little to contradict. But despite a critical reception on the surface, her book From Mayfair to Moscow* was eagerly snapped up.
Even among the supreme leaders of Soviet Russia in the 1920s there was fear. When Clare Sheridan, the sculptor who spent her latter years in Galway, was leaving the Moscow War Ministry late one night accompanied by the powerful head of the Red Army and Commissar for Military Affairs, Leon Trotsky, armed soldiers on the bridge at the Neva, stood out on the road, and stopped their car.
When Clare Sheridan bought Spanish Arch House in the late autumn of 1946, she was seeking refuge from an eventful life, to find peace and quiet to continue her sculpture, and needed time to give expression to her religious fervour. She had recently converted to Catholicism, and could not resist telling anyone who listened ‘how exciting it was to be a Catholic.’
ROBOCOBRA QUARTET, hailed as “pioneers” by the BBC and who have been compared to a cross between Fugazi and Charles Mingus by Drowned in Sound, are coming to Galway.
DRUID THEATRE Company will return to Coole Park this summer for a series of live outdoor performances of Chekhov’s The Seagull, directed by Garry Hynes.
Galway is celebrating the success of two rowers who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
While domestic issues are likely to continue to dominate the political agenda – this past week seeing the re-emergence with a vengeance of the housing crisis as some light begins to emerge at the end of the pandemic tunnel – the coming months will also feature some tumultuous developments in European politics that may have significant implications for Ireland.